March 2, 2013
Love can have different forms. Love could take a form of romantic relationship, it could also take the form of a deep friendship, or it could be unconditional. In the beginning of the story “Love” the main character’s love was unclear. However, as the story progresses, the type of love he shows become clearer and proves to be unconditional.
Pat first meets Martha in what seems to be a hotel. During a stormy night in San Francisco, Pat and his friend, Max, took shelter in a nearby hotel where Martha works. Martha is no ordinary neighborhood girl who works as a housekeeper in the hotel; she is a prostitute. The moment Pat first laid his eyes on Martha; he felt a sudden urge to change her life. The narrator says, “He began immediately to want to destroy the fear in her, to give her the sort of support she could never get in such a place, to get himself inside of her, simply by being in her presence, extend his strength to her” (227).
While most men would use prostitutes for the only purpose of self-gratification, Pat proves his sincere intentions by trying to help Martha. Pat sees her as something special, something more than what she currently is, a whore. Pat thinks to himself, “I’ll get her out of here. I’ll get a job and rent a small apartment and make her eat and sleep decently, and exercise. I wont touch her. I’ll just stay with her until she gets on her feet again. I’ve got enough money for a week, and the first thing in the morning I’ll go around to the employment agencies and look for a job. I’ve got to do this. I’d be a bastard not to try to help this girl” (231). Thus, Pat shows his love to be selfless and was not concern with his own benefit.
His friend Max is certainly different from Pat. They are as far alike as the earth and the sky; they are unquestionably controversial characters. It could be argued that the author of the book made Max the devil and Pat the angel which shows how these two characters differ from one another, differ by thought and intentions. The moment both of them stepped in the brothel, their true characters were revealed. Pat’s attention was only focused on Martha, whereas Max was distracted and indulged himself with the rest.
The manner in which both of them treated the girls contrasted because Pat showed his care and emotions whereas Max only displayed his lust towards the girls. The narrator says, “Max entertained the other two girls. The largest, who was very large, actually fat, sat on his lap, and Max began to touch her. She liked it very much because she imagined that after a while Max would go with her to a room and it would make a good impression on the landlady”(228). As a result, Max’s intentions towards the girls were truly self-indulgent. Max caressed the over weight girl, and indirectly insulted her by saying that her full-figured body