© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love


by Raymond Carver

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Violence Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)

Quote #1

Then Terri said, "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. […] My head kept knocking on things." Terri looked around the table. "What do you do with a love like that?" (4)

"I love you, you bitch," sounds like a bit of an oxy moron to Shmoop. If Ed loves Terri so much, how can he call her such an awful name? The strange thing is, Terri doesn't seem to think it's much of an oxy moron at all. She totally believes Ed loved her. And that's a big problem for Mel.

Quote #2

When I left, he drank rat poison. […] They saved his life. But his gums went crazy from it. I mean they pulled away from his teeth. After that, his teeth stood out like fangs." (16)

In addition to being violent toward Terri, Ed was violent toward himself. While this might have had something to do with his feelings for Terri, we're thinking this particular violence was probably caused by something much deeper going wrong for Ed.

Quote #3

"You should have seen the way we lived in those days. Like fugitives. I even bought a gun myself. Can you believe it? A guy like me?" (27)

Hey, here's an idea. Maybe the reason Mel is so upset that Terri considers Ed's feelings for her to have been love is that Ed's violent behavior had a big impact on his life, too. The guy did threaten Mel on several occasions. Maybe Mel's bothered that Terri doesn't seem more concerned for her current husband's well being. Maybe he thinks she's putting her violent ex before him.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...