Analysis Of Raymond Carver 's ' What We Talk About When We Talking About Love ``

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Raymond Carver’s text “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” is a short story set in Albuquerque New Mexico, where four friends are sitting around a table drinking gin and socializing on the topic of love and their knowledge of it. In such a short story Carver demonstrates love from several distinct avenues. From love that sparks abuse, to love that brings an old man to tears. He incites questions on love such as Does it end? Can it be mistaken? And How should you show it? Earnestly observing this story and reading from the context of his life, from a brief biography, it is apparent that there are parallels, and that those parallels reveal what Carver’s love philosophy. Three main arguments are that Carver believes love has a close connection with pain; it can be both simple and complicated simultaneously, and that the word love is ambiguous. Carver at one time in his life could be described as a simple man. “He worked a variety of odd jobs” in order to provide for his family which inspired his characters. His character Mel is a cardiologist which is a very complicated job that requires years of medical school and a residency and years of practice to become, but when he speaks of his job he says “I’m just a mechanic.” (Carver, 181) This oversimplification supports the prevalence of simplicity as a core theme. Carver wants readers to understand the qualities of simple men like himself. Furthermore Mel is a heart surgeon and the heart is supposed to be the love organ in the simplest of explanations, when in fact the source of love is so much more complicated than red hearts and roses. So on a superficial level the story says love is simple. You go in and fix the heart and that should solve the complicated equation that is l... ... middle of paper ... ...k about love.” Carver wanted his audience to notice what he thought and lived with respect to love. The realism in this work intertwined with background knowledge on the mind it came from reveals that it was not only known it was felt. Carver was in Ed’s shoes and Mel’s shoes and the narrator’s shoes gaining experience and building an opinion of what love really meant to him. Knowing it was written in the same timeframe as his commitment to sobriety could mean that this piece of literature offered him clarity, clarity that allows the audience an open window in his world. From what was read the people can infer that Carver feels that love can be both simple and perplexing in the same instance, that love and pain are inalienable, whether it is felt by the same person or not, and that love is ambiguous and that the interpretation is to be made by the person feeling it.

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