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In Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” the fact that the four main character are drinking is effective; it sets a tone of honesty and lack of pretense, while also giving insight to their closeness as friends. The dialogue reminds us of their condition, particularly Mel’s, on the bottom of page 145 and beyond through little bits of “drunk dialogue.”
Terri and Mel’s relationship, and perhaps love on a broader scale, is illustrated through their back and forth reactions. Mel, very bitingly, tells Terri to shut up for once on page 146, but then there is romance between the two on page 147 and so-on and so-forth.
It is clear through the randomness of their accounts of love that they really know nothing about love. They tell stories about relationships, but not love explicitly. As as side note, I once heard the last line in a movie and have been so in love with it ever since, although I can’t find a way to explain why.

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