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Bailey Johnson
3/6 Discussion
Fri Mar 6, 2015 3:33pm

I am writing my Boyle paper on “Modern Love” and “Carnal Knowledge.” I chose these stories because their similarities and differences are blatant. The difference in the stories that I am choosing to write about is each guy’s reaction to losing the hot girl. In “Modern Love,” when the narrator gets dumped by Breda he drops the love bomb as an act of desperation. In “Carnal Knowledge,” when Jim is dumped by Alena he basically says it is just sex and goes to eat some meat. Both men are desperate for sex, but one is more desperate than the other. In “Modern Love,” the best pieces of evidence can be found when the narrator wears a full body condom to have sex; he waited a month to get a kiss from her; he went to her doctor’s office to get a full workup to get approval to have real sex with her. In “Carnal Knowledge,” evidence of Jim being desperate is he gave up meat for Alena. He is out protesting with her and he does not even believe the things he is protesting.

I think Boyle’s point in writing these two stories was to show how men react to sex and the things they will do for it. He does not give the narrator a name in “Modern Love” so that readers can place anyone in that situation. I think he gives the narrator a name in “Carnal Knowledge” because he thinks men cannot easily be placed in his role. I think Boyle may believe that men are more like the narrator in “Modern Love,” men who will stop at nothing for sex. One could say he may respect Jim more than the narrator. Jim got dumped and said, “Forget this. I get to eat meat now.” Boyle may be trying to say that men should prioritize their standards, beliefs, morals, etc. over a quick lay. If that is the case, I think that logic should be applied to both sexes. When getting into a relationship, men and women should have their priorities in order. The narrator in “Modern Love” is proof enough of what happens when one's priorities are not in order.

Word Count: 364

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