Talking About Love Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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the accident. The old couple survived, but just barely. Carver intends the couple to represent our traditional conception of love lifetime monogamy a love that lasts until death do us part. What troubles Mel about the love between this old couple is that the husband is upset not so much because he and his wife are badly injured, but because his face is bandaged so severely he cannot move his head and look at his wife. Moramarco goes on to explain this sort of dependent love is closer to the love that Ed had for Terri than any of the other couples described in Carver s story. Carver uses the subplots of the different couples to contrast against each other, and show that obsession and true love actually are much closer than many people may think. He also uses the subplots to

provide some detail into the viewpoints that the different couples come from, in respect to the issue of love. The fact that Nick and Laura have much less to say may have to do with their comparative inexperience, at least as far as the length of their relationship. And, as Carver states, Mel McGinnis was talking. Mel McGinnis is a cardiologist, and sometimes that gives him the right. Another technique that Carver uses in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, is imagery. Carver s use of imagery is somewhat subtle, but is used effectively to represent certain ideas in the story. The first use of imagery is that of light in the story. At the beginning of the story, Carver states that, Sunlight filled the kitchen from the big window behind the sink (437). He later describes

the light in various stages; The afternoon sun was like a presence in this room, the spacious light of ease and generosity (440), The sunshine inside the room was different now, changing, getting thinner (443), and The light was draining out of the room, going back through the window where it had come from (443). The light in the story is representative of the cycle of life, and directly relates to some of the symbolism that Carver uses in the story. Carver also uses imagery when describing the characters in various stages of intoxication. He states, Mel poured himself another drink. He looked at the label closely as if studying a long row of numbers. Then he slowly put the bottle down on the table and slowly reached for the tonic water (442-443). He goes on to say that Laura was

having a hard time lighting her cigarette (443), and, He crossed one leg over the other. It seemed to take him a long time to do it (444). Carver is using the intoxication of the characters to again describe a life cycle. With the imagery of the light and the intoxication, he shows a cycle of a bright and coherent time that increasingly winds down, as if fading away. He uses words such as slowly many times, to illustrate how things tend to move at a slower pace later in life. This again relates to the symbolism elsewhere in the story. In an interesting turn, Carver uses alcohol itself as both imagery and symbolism in the story. As imagery, the alcohol, and the characters increasing consumption of it, is a statement about the unease that we have speaking about love and matters of

the heart. It seems that the more the characters drink, the easier time they have baring their souls, and sharing their feelings. At the same time though, the thoughts and feelings they share become more and more disjointed and abstract in direct relation to the amount of alcohol that is consumed. For instance, later in the story, Mel starts talking of chefs and vassals, and the conversation seems to wander away from the topic of what love is. He also becomes more crude uses more profanity while he gets drunker. Carver states, Vassals, vessels, Mel said, what the fuck s the difference? You know what I meant anyway. All right, Mel said, So I m not educated. I learned my stuff. I m a heart surgeon, sure, but I m just a mechanic. I go in and fuck around and I fix things. Shit. Mel

said. Carver s use of symbolism is what really ties the story together. He uses three main symbols that sort of bring the theme of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love to the surface. Alcohol is a major symbol in this story, even though it also serves as a form of imagery. Alcohol in the story is used to symbolize the sort of love that has become pervasive in our society. In effect, it can be fun for a while, but in the end it leaves us unfilled, and feeling like we ve been run over by a truck. This is in direct contrast to Carver s use of food as a symbol in the story. In Carver s Couples Talk About Love, Moramarco states, Drinking is often contrasted with eating. Food is almost always presented as both nourishing and nurturing. Eating is a communal activity, while alcohol