Love: Comparison of Two Literary Works

Definition of love is an aspect that disturbs a good number of individuals due to their daily experiences with the word. People tend to confuse emotions with love because emotions tend to drive individuals to act crazily in the umbrella of love. This confusion is evident in Raymond Carver’s work, What We Talk about When We talk About Love. Likewise, James Joyce’s Eveline indicates choices people make when they fall in love. This article seeks to examine Carver’s and Joyce’s literatures by identifying their expressions about human nature when they are in love.

Carver’s literature is all about love. Mel McGinnis and Nick alongside their spouses Terri and Laura openly discuss their differing views about love. Mel thinks that love is spiritual because prior to his present marriage with Terri, he was married to Marjorie- a woman he once badly loved long before the marital bliss turned sour. On the other hand, Nick feels he loves his wife Laura.  In a separate case, Joyce writes about a lady known as Eveline Hill who is torn between remaining at her father’s house and eloping with her lover, Frank. Given that her father did not approve of her relationship with Frank, the two lover set for Argentina from Dublin. Dejected with the guilt of eloping, Eveline abandons Frank as the ship leaves Dublin for Argentina.

Both Carver and Joyce uses change of understanding to keep the readers wonder what love truly is. Carver starts with a scene of companionship where Mel and Nick are sharing gin with their wives. However, as the conversation continues between the pair of couples, the reader gets conflicting dimensions of love. Mel is very casual of love and he says that if his wife dies he will still find another woman to love. In contrast, Joyce expresses love as a strong bond between the partners as that of Eveline and Frank.  Nonetheless, the denunciation of Eveline to elope with Frank raises much doubt in readers about the existence of love between them.

The two authors depict the human loving nature and decisions people make while courting. Carver’s work shows that some people mistake obsession for love as evident in the case of Terri’s former boyfriend, Ed, who killed himself on realizing that Terri did not love him after all. Similarly, Joyce portrays human indecisiveness to cleave from the past when in relationships. For example, Eveline refuses to leave her father’s home and brother for Frank just as she promised to her dead mother. This shows the much unpopular regard of Eveline to the will of her parents in her courtship with Frank otherwise she would have eloped with him for convenience.

Finally, the writers portray how human behavior divides love into different facets. Carver uses Mel to tell of a couple who got an accident and the husband became highly agitated when barred from seeing his dear wife. The mantra of this story shows that the husband not only show strong affiliation to his wife but also intimate feelings for her. In different case, Terri tells of Ed beating her up and she seems to be much contented with the assault as Ed’s unique way of expressing love for her. On the other hand, Nick and his wife are sure that they love each other though they have difficulties making their opinion public. Most importantly, Joyce goes an extra mile to reveal another form of love: the family love when Eveline made up her mind to abandon Frank to return to her family as part of the promise she made to her late mother.

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