Date

4-29-2020

Description

Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" is a short-story cycle joined by motifs that further an overarching theme. A majority of the scholarship written about this short-story cycle focuses on alcohol and the alcoholism present throughout the stories. However, this essay focuses on a more abstract motif: sex. This essay emphasizes sex as a motif that promotes the theme of escapism. The recurring act of vacuous sex serves as an escape tactic for the characters and is caused by their inability to communicate and their general unhappiness in their lives. This motif is present in six of the seventeen works, but only the three best representations are analyzed: "Gazebo" "Tell the Women We're Going"" and "So Much Water So Close to Home." Satellite stories are included to provide a better understanding of the placement of the stories within the cycle. The essay concludes that empty sex best exemplifies the lack of communication and unhappiness that is typical of Carver's characters. This analysis will introduce a new interpretation of Carver's short-story cycle.

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM

Sex as Escapism: An Analysis of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" is a short-story cycle joined by motifs that further an overarching theme. A majority of the scholarship written about this short-story cycle focuses on alcohol and the alcoholism present throughout the stories. However, this essay focuses on a more abstract motif: sex. This essay emphasizes sex as a motif that promotes the theme of escapism. The recurring act of vacuous sex serves as an escape tactic for the characters and is caused by their inability to communicate and their general unhappiness in their lives. This motif is present in six of the seventeen works, but only the three best representations are analyzed: "Gazebo" "Tell the Women We're Going"" and "So Much Water So Close to Home." Satellite stories are included to provide a better understanding of the placement of the stories within the cycle. The essay concludes that empty sex best exemplifies the lack of communication and unhappiness that is typical of Carver's characters. This analysis will introduce a new interpretation of Carver's short-story cycle.