March 21, 2012
Dr. Martina Sciolino
Connection between teenage pregnancy and socioeconomic status
As a resident of Mississippi for the majority of my life, I have become more familiar with teenage pregnancy than most. In addition, Mississippi was recently the focus of national news with the recent vote to illegalize abortion. T. C. Boyle chooses a debatable subject to write about drawing many discussions about ethics. However, Boyle attempts to bring more light to teenage pregnancy, and gives the reader a different side than commonly assumed about teenage pregnancy. Often assumptions are made about the socioeconomic status of the teenager that is expecting. This has attached a stigma to the female expecting, and categorizing her character and status in society. However, teenage pregnancy is not an epidemic that plagues the people of lower socioeconomic statuses. In the short story “The Love of My Life,” T.C. Boyle severs the connection between socioeconomic status and teenage pregnancy.
At first glance, “The Love of My Life” appears to follow the same assumptions that connect socioeconomic standards and teenage pregnancy because the two topics are thematically placed throughout the short story. The author purposefully informs the reaer of he class system the characters are categorized in. Boyle begins character development with the description of how in love the couple is by describing how close they are with each other’s families. By doing so the reader learns that China has a typical nuclear family as an only child with expectations of success. Confirmed by Boyle later in the short story he writes, “She was spoiled, he could see that now, spoiled by her parents and their standard of living and socioeconomic expectations of her class—of his class—and the promise of life as you like it, an unscrolling vista of pleasure and acquisition” (141). This quote characterizes China well, as well as provides the reader with the affirmation...