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What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Book Review Example

Pages: 3

Words: 947

Book Review

When the term ‘love’ is considered, several other elements of concern are given attention to. Relatively, human relationships, gender differences among mates, issues of compatibility and so on and so forth. Love does not only imply the situation by which people tend to carry on connections that retain their romantic attachment to someone; basically, it entails the concept of utilizing all aspects of human nature to make to balance out the differences that two individuals have between each other thus creating a connection that is grounded on understanding and acceptance. This idea is further explored through the short stories of Raymond Carver presented in his book. 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. This theme occurs 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. Considering the element of focus and thematic description, this particular scenario in the story provides a good indication on what ‘love’ is to the characters, how they understand it and how they perceive it as part of their own lives.  Attracting the attention of the readers to the concept of love being suggested within this part of the story is seemingly understood as the primary element used to define how the author wants to make his audience think. The readers are actually assumed to provide their own opinions about the matter, thus imposing on the most affecting element about their own beliefs about love. To create a connection between his readers and the people in his story, the author pointed out that 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. In this particular scene in the story, the factor of point of view is further enhanced. What love is to one person may be different on another; considerably, it is highlighted in this part of the story how people differ when it comes to developing an opinion about love, even in the process of actually embracing the idea and its implication on others. Herein, the point of view on love by the other character is not fully accepted by others; this is the same situation that occurs in real-life conversations whereas people have their own opinion about love and perception that is most often than not related to their personal experiences.

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. To establish conflict, the author creates particular situations that would bring about a sense of confusion therefore also involving the readers’ as they begin to be convinced on one side of the story, while others are seemingly convinced to follow another character’s opinion on love. Again, such condition of thinking is guided by the personal perception that one has over the topic being discussed; in this case, ‘love’.

Overall, the context of Raymond Carver’s plot on presenting the different facets of love and the meanings that it holds for several individuals provide a clear indication as to the how’s and why’s of the development of perception that humans have over the idea of ‘love’, ‘being loved’ or ‘loving’ another person. Considerably, his arguments presented in the form of discussions and conversations between the characters in his story provide a great impact on the thinking of his readers and how they personally understand the underlying concept behind love. With his presentation, the story he created could be noted as rather engaging which is one of the strengths that his stories have in relation to how the readers react to most of his ideas.

In considering the overall context of the story’s presentation, it is agreeable to consider that understanding what love is and how it is specifically talked about in conversations is shown to be strongly dependent on personal perceptions guided through the personal assumption of individuals based on their experiences. Their understanding of the matter depends so much on whether or not they are willing to engage in something that could be considered both emotionally risky and satisfying all at the same time. Readers of the story are then led to the concept of understanding love at a more positive stance hence allowing them the chance to explore the possibilities of actually believing that they could love and be loved in return only if they are willing to take the risks that come with the establishment of good relationship with another person that they may actually have specific differences from.

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