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Love In L.A.

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Love is a powerful force that drives one person to draw a deep affection towards another. When analyzed, the short story entitled “Love in L.A.,” by Dagoberto Gilb, shows how one can see many reasons in seeing irony and even satire by the story’s title. Through “Jake,” the protagonist’s definition of “love” is expressed in different fashions, none results in anything positive; He portrays being lazy, irresponsible, somewhat poor, and perhaps something of a scam artist, looking for his freedom. Several essences reveal the main character true identity throughout the story: a love for image, self-conceit, and daydreaming.

Jake controls how well he behaves, using image as a grand part of his motivation. First, the author portrays Jake’s worries towards the bumpers of the car before thinking of the other people involved in the accident. After finding out that there is not an ‘impressionable’ scratch,”he perks up”. Then, while talking to Mariana, “he straightened out his less than new but not “unhip” clothes,” while he is attempting to straighten out the mess with the car accident. This description of imagery on himself depicts his lack of respect for others and conceit when it came to what is more important according to him.

Jake can be seen as vein and egotistical in his cause. Near the end of the story he gets back into the car and he “…took a moment or two to feel both proud and sad about his performance”. The reader believes it means he is proud of getting away with such rambunctious behavior and attempting to court the young lady all throughout the ordeal. With no such luck, in the end, his efforts are in vein and a distant dream and during the whole thing he is lying to her and himself.

Another trait which Jake possesses’ is that of a dreamer. In the beginning of the passage, the narrator speaks of things Jake would like to do with the ’58 Buick and ends it with his life.

“The car would have crushed velvet interior with electric controls for the L.A. summer…heater and defroster…cruise control…mellow speakers front and rear of course,” he then follows by adding, “The fact was that he’d probably have to change his whole lifestyle… Jake could imagine lots of possibilities when he let himself…”

Jake could not even afford a tag, license, registration, or insurance for his Buick, let-alone install these extra accessories. At another instance he shows a sign of dreaming is while Jake, “…fondled the wide dimple near the cracked taillight”. Not only does he have feelings of her while he “fondled” the taillight and he showed her how he cares about her situation.

To say that there was any “Love in L.A.” according to this story is a huge mistake. Jake can be described an egotistical human with love for only one, that being himself. His persona describes the nature of people in Los Angeles, CA, the three traits being, love of image, self-conceit, and dreaming. Overall, there is a deeper meaning to love and it is not limited to which not only this character, but many others have not yet discovered.

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