What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Themes

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The central theme of this story is love. The two couples spend the evening drinking gin and discussing the nature of "real love." The narrator explains that "we somehow got on the subject of love." It is Mel who insists on returning to the topic of love. He believes that "love was nothing less than spiritual love." They then turn to the topic of Terri's abusive former husband Ed, who eventually shot himself in the head and died. Terri and Mel, both of them married for the second time, debate whether or not Ed really loved Terri. She claims that Ed "loved her so much he tried to kill her." Mel insists that "that's not love."

Mel eventually describes to them an example of what he considers to be "real love," the old couple who had nearly died in a car accident. This conversation about, as Mel puts it, "what...

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This section contains 852 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.