Nov 19, 2020 in Literature

Love in L.A-Critical Analysis

Love in L.A is a short story written by Dagoberto Gilb which shows the readers the power of fresh characters sketched by the talented master touch. Writer managed to put in two pages the story of completely different people, locating them in common situation and reaching the development of their characters. A critical scrutiny of Jakes character through his thoughts, actions and reactions gives the readers an opportunity to discover that greediness, jealousy, arrogance, lies, materialism, and pride form his personality to a large extent. This paper seeks to analyze the features of the characters in Love in L.A. In the paper, main emphasis of the analysis is put on the writers thoughts and intentions. In order to achieve the intended goals, the paper will demonstrate how the writer makes use of different techniques and forms of criticism to address the behavior of the main character of the story.


The events in Love in L.A take place in Alvarado Street of the Hollywood Freeway. The first paragraph of Dagoberto Gilbs short story describes a young man caught up in traffic jam. As judged be his reactions, this situation does not seem to disappoint Jake as he has a lot going on in his mind in order to keep him busy while on the motionless traffic. The streams of thoughts about the things that he wishes to have helps the reader to create a mental picture of the kind of this man. The writers description of the incidents unfolding amidst traffic jam presents a scene that can be defined as odious and rigidly regulated. Nowadays bottlenecks are regarded as a phenomenon that occurs regularly and becomes a part of persons life. People sitting in the traffic would usually ponder over the thoughts that may in the end appear to be unconstructive. On the basis of the story the readers get a general idea of the stream of consciousness of a person stuck in the traffic jam. Absent-mindedness of the main character leads to the accident. The main character suddenly finds himself with a car accident to deal with; he hits a Toyotas truck with a smack that would be thought harmless. In this scene, the readers face a number of conflicts. To begin with, Jake is hit by a mans car and himself hits the Toyota car that drives a woman. Having acquainted with her, Jake gets to know that the affected car is a gift from the ladys father. The protagonist appears to be outgoing person who is not used to hide his feelings or thoughts. For instance, when Jake understands that the woman is not an owner of the car, he says, Your dad? Its not your car?, the phrase that allows readers to feel his scorn and contempt.

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The nature of the main character could also be seen from the way he deals with man who hits his own car. The writer brings dilemma into picture: in ordinary situation, it would seem strange or unreasonable to let a person who endamaged ones car leave without having a look at potential losses or at least tendering an apology. Nevertheless, Jake allows the man who hit his car to go, though he is himself ready to check the damage on the ladys car. Jakes words it didnt even scratch my paint could give the readers an impression of excessive pride of the protagonist. His attitude to the Toyota car adds to this feeling, its amazing how easy it is to put a dent on these new cars. Theyre so soft they might replace waterbeds soon. This situation demonstrates class criticism in Dagbertos story Love in L.A. Jake understates modern car models and opposes them to the old cars, thereby contrasting two different social groups. To make his arguments more effective he uses sarcastic jokes, comparing contemporary cars with waterbeds and concluding they are more efficient in terms of softness.

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From the very beginning Dagoberto presents Jake as a lavish and chauvinistic person, one whose life includes nightclubs, women, and luxurious entertainments. Writer as well wishes to show prejudiced and unequal attitude of the men towards the women: from the story it could be seen that characters rush to save a ladys situation while on their side they are facing a similar one. However, for this case hidden motifs are eminent, as Jake is interested in the marital status of the woman. The readers could now see Jakes particular attention to the lady, his hidden intentions. In addition, Dagoberto demonstrates seeming outspokenness of the protagonist, though the motives and thoughts of Jake remain indistinctive. The readers do not understand the way he treats the woman: perhaps, he sees her as a person to have breakfast and coffee with and maybe to spend time with irrespective of whether in marriage or not. As such, a thought that Jake could be nice to the Toyota lady on such lines wouldnt be way off. As such, the writers use of psychoanalytic criticism helps the readers to fully evaluate the psychological position of both the writer and Jake. Through this type of criticism, the deeper insight behind Dagobertos short story comes out clearly.

Thus, the story allows the readers to plunge in the everyday situation, getting acquainted with the main character and forming an estimate of him. If by any chance Jake possesses any form of redeeming qualities, they are not apparent in the story. Dagobertos insistence on Jakes characters of chauvinism, greediness, jealousy, and materialism are enough proof that any single person who might have known Jake prior to reading this story would definitely describe him on basis of these character flaws. Different forms and techniques of criticism help writer to picture Jake, describe his characteristic features. Consequently, the writer achieved his goal of making the reader form an unfavorable opinion of Jake.


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