Themes and message
The nature of love
The short story “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love” by Raymond Carver illustrates the theme of the nature of love. The title offers certain expectations to the readers, as it suggests that the story will discuss the nature and meaning of love. However, it should be noted that readers do not get any clear answers, as each character has their own opinion about love, and sometimes these opinions contradict each other.
All the main characters define love in a different way. For Mel, “real love was nothing less than spiritual love”. He believes that, in case of a partner’s death, the other would soon find someone else to love, as they have done several times before. He is also convinced love can turn to hate and reinforces this by talking about the hatred he feels for his ex-wife. For Terri, love means sacrifice and pain, as illustrated by her way of looking at her relationship with Ed. Although...