Raymond Carver What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Carver incorporates significant imagery through this drunken character. First of all, Mel speaks of his wishes to be a knight so that he could have a suit of armor, which is a form of protection. However, on page 181 Nick states, “I read somewhere that they’d fall off their horses and not be able to get up because they were too tired to stand with all that armor on them. They got trampled by their own horses sometimes.” This is an analogy in the sense that the armor represents “walls” that people put up to protect and separate themselves from others. The horse represents the creature in which the man confides the most trust, which could also represent a person’s romantic partner. Therefore this image means that people who build “walls” (represented by the armor) around them actually hurt themselves in the end. In other words, even the animal that is most cared for in the man’s life may end up killing him, which is the ultimate act of hatred. The horse killing the knight can also be interpreted as Carver explaining that love, whether it be between a knight and his horse or a married couple, is imperfect and does not last. This idea is suggested once more on the final pages of the story when Mel is hatefully talking about his ex-wife, Marjorie. On page 176, Mel admits, “But sometimes I have a hard time accounting for the fact that I must have loved my first wife too. But I did, I know I …show more content…
As most of the action in the story revolves around drinking and replenishing the gin, a mental image of four characters drowning their sorrows and confusion concerning love is formed (yet this is never admitted). Nick, the narrator, limits his comments to physical movement and appearance of the characters, which at first glance suggests a skin-deep story about two couples; yet with a deeper analysis, it actually adds mood and overall importance to the meaning of Carver’s story. The setting is described at the beginning of the story very plainly. On page 170, Nick describes the scene as, “The four of us were sitting around his kitchen table drinking gin.” The simplicity found in Nick’s descriptions is reflected in all aspects of the story, as the setting remains still and static throughout. The lack of movement or excitement among the characters suggests that their love is also stagnant, or will soon be lifeless in Nick and Laura’s case. The combination of the lack of movement and the continuous intake of alcohol create a melancholy and creepy mood at the conclusion of the story. By the time the gin is polished off, the upbeat conversation in the first few pages has died down to an awkward, lonely silence. On page 185, Nick says, “Eat or not eat. Or keep drinking. I could head right on out into the

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