Eng 254           Class 20           Wed, June 4th

Carver, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"

 

1. As the story opens, what is the setting: time, place, and situation? How does the setting change over the course of the story?

 

 

 

2. Is there a protagonist, an antagonist?

 

 

 

3. How would you describe Terri? What type of person is Mel?



 

4. Is there a traditional plot, conventional conflict, climax, resolution?

 

 

 

5. What is the role of Nick and Laura in this story? How reliable is Nick as a narrator?

 

 

 

6. In the discussion about Ed, what do we discover about Nick and Laura?

 

 

 

7. Compare and contrast their marriage with Terri and Mel's.

 

 

 

8. How does Terri's view of Ed contrast with Mel's view of him? What does this contrast reveal about Mel and Terri's relationship?

 

 

 

9. The subject of this story is apparently love. What questions about love does Carver raise through the characters? Does he answer these questions?

 

 

 

10. What is Carver talking about when he talks about love?

 

 

 

11. A third couple (or fourth, if you count Terri and Ed) is introduced in the story. What astonishes Mel about the old couple's relationship?

 

 

 

12. What is Mel's greatest desire?

 

 

 

13. What is the signficance of the story's final paragraph?