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RAYMOND CARVERS WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE Stories be they written or on screen usually employ setting as a backdrop and having no direct relation to the actual storyline progression This however is not the case in Raymond Carvers tale What We Talk About When We Talk About Love In this short story a single element sunlight reflectsno pun intended the progression of the story showing a direct relation between the characters openness in talking about love their knowledge on the subject their mood the point of discussion as well as their confidence in their own abilities As we will soon see the element of sunlight will take us into four different levels of progression helping us to dissect and better understand its role within the story In the first phase of the story when Sunlight filled the kitchen from the big window behind the sink the mood in the room is one of general happiness the two couples are joking with each other smiling and being affectionate as we see when Nick admires Lauras fingers and also kisses her hand Carver 170 Their main point of discussion is about Terris ex-boyfriend Ed and how mentally unstable he was During this conversation we see that there is no sense of openness in the discussion as it is only Mel and Terri that speak while Laura and Nick are more reserved content to just listen to the stories rather than partake in the conversation themselves The one thing that everyone does share however is their level of knowledge on the subject of love Mel states quite simply that I know what I know Thats all Carver 170 Terri is also equally unequivocal in her understanding saying Say what you want to but I know it was when talking about Eds love for her Carver 170 This also happens to be the one time early in the story that Laura
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