What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

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Justin Goings
Debra Dockter
English Composition
October 12th 2012
“The definition of love may be unique to the individual, if it can be defined at all”
The feeling you have when you first look upon your new born child, the radiant warmth in your face when you say “I do” at the altar, or the divine feeling in your chest when you pray. Every one of these situations could be used to describe love. Its an emotion so richly embedded into our minds, that every single one of us can say they’ve experienced it in their lives. Some might even say they’ve molded their existence around it. However, while we are all familiar with love, the situations in which we encounter it are so diverse that the definition has become unique to the individual person. “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love” does an amazing job of forcing the reader to wonder what this feeling really means to them. What starts out as a normal conversation between four friends almost turns into a harsh debate on the elusive nature of love. Of the four people in the story the person that appears to struggle with the topic the most is Mel. The author seems to use a bit of symbolism in his story by making Mel a cardiologist. Almost as if saying because he is a heart doctor, he would have plenty to say about matters of the heart. Mel’s original position is that real love is nothing less than spiritual love, but he quickly becomes unsatisfied with his original answer. Seeing the affection between Nick and Laura makes him analyze the question even further. He eventually goes into a story about an elderly couple that was gravely injured in a car accident and it looks like he is going to have a strong point, yet somehow he can’t exactly describe what it is. Despite Mel’s knowledge though, he still struggles to find a clear answer. My favorite example in the story is when Mel is trying to explain sentimental love. He explains that he and Terri say that they love each other, yet they would both say that they...
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