November 25, 2013
In 1953 Flannery O’Connor wrote a short story called “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, which is not a bad read. Later down the road we have another short story that was written by Dagoberto Gilb in 1993 that is called “Love in L.A.”; “Love in L.A.” is based on a young man that will say or do anything to get out of any wrong doings he has done. Both will be discussed and compared in their similarities and differences, of which there are many.
When looking at the setting of both of these short stories, I would say that there are very few similarities, but like most stories, we will talk about all the differences they have. First, the “Love in L.A.” takes place in Los Angeles’s busy freeway during traffic time, while the “A Good Man is Hard to Find” takes the setting starting Georgia, going towards Florida. Now, both of these stories are different in time 1990’s and the 1950’s, which sets up a different mindset, a different tone, and even a different culture. To touch on the similarities, I would go as far as to say that both of the short stories take place in the warmth of the seasons, maybe around summer time, they both are in cars for all or most of the stories and they both end up with some type of accident. For example, Jake, in the 1993 “Love in L.A.” starts to daydream and hits the car in front of him; in the 1953 “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the family traveling to Florida gets into a wreck and the car actually flips over once. Lastly, both of the writers seem to tell set the story in the places that have lived in, that is an important detail, as they are able to paint a better, more detailed picture of the surroundings around the characters.
The character Jake, in the “Love in L.A.” story, is a self-absorbed, lazy, irresponsible protagonist who lies and cheats to get by in life. Jake is driving along the freeway and starts daydreaming about a new car and I doing this, he causes himself to hit the car in front of him; this leads me to say that Jake is just a daydreamer that does not work hard for anything. On the other hand we have the antagonist in the story, which is a very smart, responsible, and very nice lady. The smart antagonist of this short story is Mariana and she does not fall for any of the flirting that Jake tries to put on her, she keeps to her guns and once she is done listening to what Jake has to say, she pulls up on the back of the car and take the licenses plates numbers/letters. All Jake wants is to get out of this accident that he caused and Mariana just wants to get all the right information, so that she can have her car fixed and her father not so mad at her.
The grandmother is a very talkative, smart, Christian woman who believes in the hierarchy of society, which is depicted by the hat that she wears and the “lady” she uses much of the story. Bailey was a very strong and determined character in this story; next, we have the mother of the children, which is a quite lady that seems to be a young stay at home woman that was always focused on the kids. The children seem to like listening to their grandma’s stories; they were regular kids who seemed to have all the fun possible and wanted things their way. Sammy Butts was the barbeque sandwich shop owner, which was small character that was a trusting, hardworking man. For the worst character in this short story, we move to “The Misfit”, to me he is a punk, not knowing what life is all about. He seems to think that he is not the worst person in the world, but I don’t see how someone who takes innocent people’s lives is not the worst. Lastly, we have to followers, that don’t know how to create their own thoughts and are also very evil people; the escaped criminals are not a very smart group of gentleman.
For a symbolism of both stories, they both take place on the open road in vehicle; I will start with Jake and how he used the freeway to be is