What We Talk about When We Talk about Love

Dette er vores hjælp til analyse af novellen “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love” (1981) af Raymond Carver. Novellen kan du læse i Wider Contexts, s. 111. Ud over hjælp til at analysere novellen giver vi dig også et summary samt input til temaer og perspektivering.

 

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Social setting

The story’s social setting mainly focuses on divorced couples and attitudes towards domestic abuse

All four characters are divorced and have been married before their current relationships. Consequently, they have different views of love. Mel believes that love is only spiritual, as he claims he finds it hard to imagine he has once loved Marjorie, his first wife, whom he now hates (p. 115, ll. 10-12). Terri believes that love means sacrifice, and pities her violent ex-husband, Ed. Nick and Laura are still in the “honeymoon” (p. 114, l. 21) phase of the relationship, but Nick does not express his love verbally, as Laura does. 

The story illustrates the issue of domestic abuse through Terri and Ed. Terri tells their friends about Ed’s abuse but seems to find excuses for him: 

He beat me up one night. He dragged me around the living room by my ankles. He kept saying, ‘I love you, I love you, you bitch.’ He went on dragging me around the living room. My head kept knocking on things. (p. 111, ll. 15-18)

This is consistent with the attitude victims of domestic abuse sometimes have towards their abusers. Terri tries to normalize and justify Ed’s behavior by claiming it was out of love.

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What We Talk about When We Talk about Love

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