Love in L.A. by Dagoberto Gilb
The setting of this short story is on the freeway of Los Angeles. Jake is a self-absorbed, lazy, irresponsible, protagonist, who is driving along the freeway. He begins daydreaming about a car better than his 58’ Buick, with crushed velvet interior and an FM radio. His daydreaming causes him to hit the car in front of him. The driver of the other car is a naïve, innocent women, named Mariana. Mariana is on her way to work, driving a car given to her by her father. Jake approaches Mariana with confidence and tries to smooth things over by flattering her and asking her for her phone number. Jake is a very dishonest person looking to keep his freedom and willing to do whatever it takes to do so. He gives Mariana a fake phone number, address, and insurance information. Mariana is gullible in believing Jake’s lies. Jakes intentions are to walk away from his destruction with no consequences.
The symbolism in this story is the freeway. The freeway makes Jake feel the freedom of the open road and allows himself to daydream, causing the accident. The theme of this story is lies, deception, and fantasy. Almost everything Jake says is a lie and Mariana believes it. The authors tone reveals that he may see himself in the main character, Jake. The author may be a good guy that once strived for the persona of the “bad guy”. In this story he has a chance to portray himself in that light. I feel the irony in this title is the fact that someone is trying to find love in L.A. As an outsider we see Los Angeles as a very fake and shallow place, filled with fake and shallow people. This would make it hard to find true love. It is also irony that the setting is on a freeway, where many people are driving each and every day. The chances of running into your soul mate are pretty slim. In my opinion, Jake has no moral code. He is willing to do whatever it takes to get away with the situation he has caused, including putting...
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