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Carver chose to introduce the characters to the readers using mostly dialogue. Except for the narrator, whom the reader learns about mostly through their point of view and description of each character, we learn most about Mel, Laura, and Terri through their words; especially Mel.


It is also evident that we learn more about Mel’s inner thoughts and feelings about love through Carver’s choice to make a parallel between the gin and the conversation of love. The conversation grows more deep with how drunk they are getting. The passing of the gin almost seems routine and, with each pass, the conversation becomes more cemented. Love started as a topic right after gin was mentioned, and as soon as the gin bottle was empty, the conversation ended. Also, with each drink, the person who gets most drunk is Mel, and the story really focuses on his struggle defining love or even trying to understand it completely, a task that gets even more difficult with every drink he makes. The ambiguous ending was a powerful choice because it cemented the importance of the gin and its connection to the flow of the conversation of love. Perhaps this is a stretch, but the ending could also show a parallel with the empty bottle and Mel’s empty understanding of love that will never be a full realization, which is another reason I believe Carver made a strong choice with his ending.

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