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In “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” Raymond Carver does something very interesting when he makes the decision to write in first person yet never really let the narrator speak.  The story is seen through the eyes of Nick, yet we never really hear from Nick or ever get as much information about him as we do the other characters.  On top of that, most of the story is dialogue and it is dialogue from Mel, Terri, and occasionally Laura.  This choice puts more focus on the characters than anything else.  There is the setting, which Nick mentions a few times, but because this is mostly dialogue it makes you really focus on who these characters are and what they are talking about.

What is also interesting about the setting is that the story never moves.  The characters never get up and go anywhere.  They do not get up and go to dinner like they say they will.  They do not even realize, except for Nick, that the sun has gone down.  This does not stop the story from going anywhere though.  Carver puts you in the heads of his characters so that setting does not have to change.  You are with Mel when he is talking about the older patients that were in the car crash and you are with Terri when she talks about Ed.  Carver almost puts a scene inside a scene and somehow makes it work so that the story moves while staying still.

 

 

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