What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
by Raymond Carver
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Love Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)
Mel thought real love was nothing less than spiritual love. He said he'd spent five years in a seminary before quitting to go to medical school. He said he still looked back on those years in the seminary as the most important years of his life. (3)
Let's think about this. If Mel believes that real love is nothing less than spiritual love, and if he props up the story of the elderly couple as an example of true love, then this must mean that that couple had spiritual love, right? But what exactly does that mean? And is God involved?
"I was in the room with him when he died," Terri said. He never came up out of it. But I sat with him. He didn't have anyone else."
"He was dangerous," Mel said. If you call that love, you can have it."
"It was love," Terri said. "Sure, it's abnormal in most people's eyes. But, he was willing to die for it. He did die for it." (34-36)
We don't know about you, but we're a little leery of Terri's comments here. She suggests that obsession, suicidal tendencies and even violence can be part of our definition of love. Does that sound right to you? What's another word for the way Ed felt about Terri? Or did Ed's actions have more to do with himself than with our female character?
"Well, Nick and I know what love is," Laura said. "For us, I mean," Laura said. She bumped my knee with her knee. […]
For an answer, I took Laura's hand and raised it to my lips. I made a big production out of kissing her hand. Everyone was amused. (42-43)
Okay, so according to Nick and Laura, love is kissing hands. Since we don't get to know Nick and Laura very well, we can't see all that deeply into their relationship. And on the surface, they certainly do seem to be in love. But Nick seems to think that because he really likes Laura, and because things are easy between them, that that means the two of them are in love. We wonder if he might want to rethink such a simple definition.