Talk About Love, Reaction Paper Example

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Reaction Paper

As foreshadowed in the title of the book “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver, the major theme of the book is love; specifically the idea of love repeatedly eludes the characters’ understanding. A second theme of the book is that language cannot possible describe love because it is too complex for words. These theme occur in many different parts of the book.

An example of the theme of love is illustrated when Mel tells his friends a story about an elderly couple who nearly died and a car crash and focuses on the fact that the man was sad he was unable to see his wife. Although this story was meant to represent the old couples’ love for one another, Mel was not able to get this point across. The characters’ lack of ability to understand love in the story is symbolic of their ability to do so in their own lives.

The second theme of language is exemplified when Terri discusses Ed and is unable to convince the others that he truly loved her; despite this, she knows deep down inside how Ed feels about her which demonstrates that feelings and emotions are sometimes better to describe love than words themselves.

The book also uses motifs to exemplify the characters’ confusion about love. The group tends to drink a lot during their discussions which adds to their lack of ability to interpret what it really is. This also ties into the idea that words cannot fully describe love, because as they drink more and more, they lose the ability to translate their thoughts into words.

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