'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love' By Raymond Carver

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Raymond Carver’s story “What We Talk About When We Talk About When We Talk About Love” features two young couples sitting around a kitchen, drinking gin and discussing the topic of love through various past experiences and stories. While the room is brightly lit up by sunlight, the feeling of love also seems to well within the air for the four. However, as the light slowly fades, and more gin is consumed, so too does the love fade, in particular between Mel and Terri. “I could See the Smallest Things” also by Carver details the issues that Nancy, the narrator, is facing within her marriage and the increasing feeling of entrapment being produced while lying in the darkness with her husband. Only the light from outside seemed to revitalize…show more content…
Mel being a cardiologist and attending “five years in a seminary” appears to represent the authority figure in the matter of love and can not view love as being anything but “spiritual love.” Despite Terri repetitively trying to convince him that her previous husband’s acts were his “own way of loving her” As time progresses further, however, Mel’s subtle displays begin to turn into signs of hostility towards others, including Terri. While debating on whether he should call his children, for fear that his ex-wife Marjorie will answer, Mel explains his deep desire that she gets “stung to death by a swarm of fucking bees” ( Carver, 153). While doing so he also turns “his fingers into bees and buzzes them at Terri’s throat” (Carver, 153). Although he stated that the bees would be intended for Marjorie, it seems strange to be performing this act towards Terri unless he is harboring some feeling of dislike for her as well. With the amount of alcohol consumed and the before mentioned subtlety bitter remarks towards one another, it is possible that Mel was viewing Terri as some form of continuation of Marjorie. Similar to Mel and Terri’s issues with marriage, Nancy in “I could See the Smallest Things,” also by Carver, appears to face her own problems with her marriage. While lying in the dark next to Cliff, she realizes that their gate sat open “while everything [outside] lay in moonlight” (Carver, 31). Despite her attempts to ignore what she saw as “a dare,” “Cliff’s awful breathing” and his claiming of most of her side of the bed finally led to her emerging from the shadows of her home and out into the
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