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Love stems from a unique combination of passion, affection and desire. Love can vary from
person to person, making it subjective rather than absolute. This ever-changing concept of love is
the opposite of Mels idea of love, You'd have to know the particulars. But I think what you're
saying is that love is an absolute (Carver 2). As Mel argues that Eds love for Terrie was not
real, he tries to give a definitive explanation of what love is, making it seem as if love is
something one can identify. However, Mel later stumbles upon issues with his concept of love,
There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her
guts. (Carver 5). Mels struggle to understand the ephemeral nature of his feelings illustrates
the complexity of love, that it is not black and white. Rather, love is different depending on the
situation and people involved. While certain couples have the ability to love each other for the
entirety of their relationship, others like Mel and his ex-wife only experienced periods of love.
As such, love is a subjective matter, as it cannot be explained definitively - it varies depending
on the situation.

In D.H Lawrences story, this fleeting concept of love is illustrated by Isabels relationship with
her husband, Maurice. While it is clear that she loves her husband at times, periodically she is
overwhelmed by a negative and depressing feeling. In those moments, her love for her husband
seems to dissipate, after months of this intensity, a sense of burden overcame Isabel, a
weariness, a terrible ennui (Lawrence). This shift in emotions that Isabel experiences supports
the concept that Mel struggles with, that love can inexplicably change over time. Not only does
her love shift, but it becomes a dark emotion, weariness and burden. While these are not the
same as the hate Mel has for his ex-wife, Isabels feelings for her husband in these moments
cannot be described as love, but rather as an unhealthy emotion that brings her down. Both of
these examples show that as strong as love is, it is sensitive to the conditions that it comes from.
Ultimately, it is up to the individuals involved to recognize their feelings as love and to embrace

Carver, Raymond. What We Talk about When We Talk about Love. New York: Vintage, 1981.

Lawrence, D.H. The Blind Man. The Literature Network, Accessed 9 January 2017.
Between these two stories, love seems to appear as a concept that changes, depending on the
circumstances surrounding a relationship. One thing can be said with utmost certainty regarding
the fleeting concept of love, that it brings people together with happiness and a sense of
belonging. This is seen in the final scene where Maurice touches Berties face that brought a
curious elation about Maurice (Lawrence). Somehow this physical encounter that Maurice uses
to convey his emotions brings this blind man up with a new positive energy the powers of love
are never-ending.

Bring up the discussion about how it is difficult to evaluate situations without being there and
connect that to how love is subjective, it differs from person to person and with time. Thats why
people can fall out of love over time, or come to love other people

Notes on Carver:

- Concept of love. Mel thinks its absolute, while terri disagrees

- Mels perspective of suicide, doesnt know what they do it for.
- Laura and nick dont give any real response to the story of ed, because they were not
in the situation, and feel that they cant judge anyones situation..
- Interesting language used to describe the sun on page 4 as spacious light of ease
and generosity
- Discussion on different kinds of love: physical, carnal
- Pay attention to how the discussion changes, as the sunlight changes. And the leaves
- Middle of page 9, is their perception of time slowing down?
- Human noise- without moving, in the dark strong symbolism!

Notes on Lawrence ( the blind man)

- 2 men in her life, an invaluable friend that is about to drive up, and her husband- ->
focus is on SOUND ( interesting since her husband is blind and thus sound is
extremely important to his perception of the outside world)
o Singing, reading..
o Blind = constant darkness
- Periods of living in that intense happiness followed by a weariness, which makes
sense since leaving intense is draining, its kind of like a concentrated amount of
happinesscompared to a more steady stream of happiness. Interesting since mel has
periods of mood swings.
- Pay attention to the link of BLACK misery. BLACK days
- Ready woman in possession weird that she was use this in describing her marriage
with Maurice, while in her relationship with bertie he listens to her wishes
- Later on she is overwhelmed by scents associated with the farm, particularly dairy
( maybe relating to mothers milk?). later she gets startled by smells. It seems the
smells are too much for her what does that indicate?
- Interesting how Maurice can never see his wife anymore. While in the other story the
old man was depressed and literally dying because he could not see his wife.
- There is quite a bit of emphasis regarding maurices posture.
- Bertie has a fear of intimacy, and touching.. while maurice seems to rely on touch to
convey his feelings and emotions
- At the end bertie cracks.. pay attention to the analogy of him like a mollusk whose
shell is broken interesting since Bernie was the sharper mentally, but behind
emotionally compared to Maurice. So when maurice physically touched him, it seems
as though all of berties emotional dam broke and resulted in the flooding of his