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

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The short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”, written by Raymond Carver in 1981, surrounds itself on two married couples questioning the concept of love over bottles of gin. The story begins with the narrator, Nick, introducing Mel and his wife Terri, who have been married for some time and who seem to have a lot to say about love. Nick then introduces himself and his newlywed wife, Laura, who don’t express much with words but more so with body language. The approach I would like to take on this short story will be postmodernism because of the different elements Carver portrayed in this story. The first postmodern element in this short story is solely on characterization. Mel McGinnis is a cardiologist and self-assured that…show more content…
Well, Mel was on the right track, a person can only rely on the love that they understand: “What do any of us really know about love? It seems to me we’re just beginners at love. We say we love each other and we do. I don’t doubt it. I love Terri and Terri loves me, and you guys love each other too. You know that kind of love I’m talking about” (Carver 389) One can only theorize another postmodern element, people can only talk about love or basically anything through their own experience, which is what Terri does. No one can achieve a right answer, the only opinion to rely on is the idea of oneself, the idea that one can only rely on past experience or pure ignorance. At the same time, people can't even trust what they say and Carver shares that in the short story. He makes the conversation take place in the presence of alcohol, which evidently, yet unknowingly, takes part as a decision-making process to the couples. This shows that anything a person decides or acts upon, thinks or talks is distorted to some degree. The couples couldn’t come up with anything ascertain because of the alcohol impacting every word or thought. The characters go through slurred words, jumbled up thoughts, hostility, and stunned silence and all of this could be a picture of what love is, but in the story, it could just be the result of

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