Free «Relationship Conflicts and Misunderstandings» Essay Sample

Relationship Conflicts and Misunderstandings


The current term paper is targeted at the analysis, relevant comparison and constructive discussion of 2 stories “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love” by Raymond Carver and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin. The analysis as well as the course of comparison is based upon the following prompt every relationship either a love affair or a marital union has conflicts and misunderstandings. Hence, the analysis is targeted at the way the conflicts are solved and the way they tend to impact the romantic or marital relationship.

The background for the aforementioned course of analysis is the peer-reviewed article “Narrativity, Myth, and Metaphor: Louise Erdrich and Raymond Carver Talk about Love” by Downes.

The stories tend to describe the concept of love and the notion of relationship from quite different perspectives, but this contributes to the comprehension of both phenomena as multidimensional and miscellaneous ones.


The concept of love is accounted for and presented in the aforementioned stories from 2 basic perspectives such as the perspective of romantic and family relationship. Both perspectives are significant and illustrate the vividness and profound essence of such a phenomenon as love. Though, the authors of the selected stories tend to establish the key criterion for the evaluation and relevant comprehension of the concept of love – the scope of conflict and pain. Actually, both the scope of love as an overwhelming feeling and the scope of pain are regarded as inseparable and mutually complementing notions. Therefore, it is relevant to analyze the role of the conflict in terms of love as well as to determine the actual impact conflicts tend to make upon the relationship.

Downes tends to account for the concepts of love as well as controversial and conflict situations within this phenomenon in terms of the discussion of such key notions of the literature as narrative, myth, and metaphor. Hence, the significance of this article is tremendous as far as it reveals not only the essence of content, but as well the scope of instruments and means to represent and structure the essence.

It is appropriate to discuss the comparison Downes provides for the concept of love and the notion of narrative putting a significant emphasis upon the way the narrative uncovers the essence of the concept of love “Narrative, like love and like music, is a highly fluctuational absolute. It, like knowing, certainly has the existence, but it won’t hold still.”

This aspect underlines the way the currently discussed narrative helps to unleash the profound essence of the notion of love and its miscellaneous interrelation with the notion of conflict.

The basic ground for the aforementioned discussion is the subject and the aspects of the plot of each story. Hence, the story by Carver is woven from the diversity of tints and shades of love. The main characters of the story by Carver tend to discuss all the aspects of love along with conflicts, violence, and spiritual significance. Hence, love is regarded as a multidimensional, controversial and absolutely non-comprehensible emotionally dependent essence.


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The most vivid exemplification of the aforementioned controversial correlation between love and conflict is the story told by Terri about her ex-boyfriend:

People are different, Mel. Sure, sometimes he may have acted crazy. Okay. But he loved me. In his own way maybe, but he loved me. There was love there, Mel… He didn’t love me the way you love me. I’m not saying that. But he loved me. (Carver)

The most profound dilemma is presented in these words. It unleashes the deepest and the most unexpected differences which may be found in the concept of love regardless the widely accepted assumption that the person that truly loves somebody can not hurt the beloved one by any means. The aforementioned situation presents an absolute contrary aspect as far as Terri’s ex not only hurt her, but also tried to kill her. Though, she managed to forgive him and even stated he had loved her deeply. This is a controversial issue that deals directly with the role of conflict and pain in terms of the romantic relationship: the abnormal types of love are considered to be also treated with the right for actual existence. Though, in such cases it is apparent that the concept of love is tremendously perverted and should be regarded as obsession. Though, does it remain to be love in its essence? Obviously, it does as far as the sun never ceases to be the sun even if it is covered with clouds or even when it brings the deathly heat.

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One more embodiment of love is mentioned in the discussed story by Carver – it is spiritual love. Actually, this kind of love that has been mentioned by Mel should be considered to be an idyllic sample for the perfect relationship. Though, Mel appears to be divorced and is not reluctant to confess that his current marriage is not perfect at all. Hence, conflicts and pain still are connected with the concept of love even when it is spiritual.

The story by Baldwin examines the concept of love and conflict on more miscellaneous level. It is the love in terms of family relationship. Thus, it is more profound and sometimes even more complicated. The main characters appear to have a very complicated type of relationship and still love each other. The concept of family and the notion of being a real family regardless all the circumstances and complications should be considered to be a central one within the story. The brother does not cease to love another brother because of conviction or because of the fatal mistakes and even crimes he has been accused of. Hence, the following conclusion may be made in spite of all the troubles, pain and conflict situations love tends to cause of lead to, the miracle of love grants a person who truly loves with the precious gift to forgive and to change another person to better.