The concept of love has taken a new twist in the modern setting. Love is subjective; it has different meanings to different people and thus it is not possible to arrive at an agreeable definition. It is one of the most controversial and misunderstood human feelings. Its effects are equally devastating, as they are satisfying. It can be fatal as it can be fulfilling. Love knows neither boundaries nor rules. It is no respecter of a person’s age, status or beliefs.
The concept of love varies across communities. Conservative communities see it as an absolute natural feeling. There is limited human effort to stimulate it. However the more liberal communities views on love varies. They treat it as consciously controlled by people. People can determine when and whom they fall in love with. This adds to the confusion of what love is. This paper will look at two love theorist highlighting their similarities and difference of opinion on idea of what love is
Dagoberto Gilb’s Love in LA makes a satirical attempt to define love. Gilb, was born in Los Angeles and spent the better part of his childhood as a wild boy. This is possibly, what influences his short stories, which are filled with pessimism, satire and cynicism. The story Love in LA is about Jake and Mariana, who meet when Jake rams into Marianas car. Initially Jake is tempted to just disappear into the traffic and run away from the situation.
This portrays Jake as an uncaring and unconcerned person. Eventually Jake goes over to talk to Mariana, who is portrayed as an upwardly mobile and focused woman. Jake starts to flirt with Mariana, telling one lie after another about himself. Through this, dialogue the reader sees who the real Jake is; a lazy dreamer wishing for the finer things of life but lacking the courage to work hard for them. Initially jakes lies do not yield anything, but with time, Mariana softens and falls for Jake.
This leaves the reader wondering if that how easy people fall in love (College Term Papers paras 1,2 , 6,7). Love in LA has certain similarities and differences with Sandra Cisnero’s Geraldo No Last Name. This is a story about Marin an urbanite girl who loves to go to nightclubs to dance, and Geraldo, who is an unknown foreigner and works in a hotel.
This particular night Marin dances with Geraldo, who later becomes a victim of a hit and run incident, and later succumbs. Marina is summoned at the hospital to help the police identify Geraldo’s relative. The search for Geraldo’s relatives is unfruitful as no identification documents are found.
This devastates Mariana who cannot explain this obsession with a stranger. The reader s also sympathies with Geraldo’s family which will never know what happened as a lot of people in this community do not know anything about Geraldo (GradeSaver paras 1,2,3).
The two author’s present love as just a dream, an elusive mirage. Love is something that is unattainable. People are in an endless pursuit of this love, which keeps eluding them when they need it most. In Love in LA, Jake starts fantasizing with Mariana upon realizing that Mariana will not totally yield to flirtation. This is implied when Jake fondles wit the cars bumper while looking at Mariana (College Term Papers para 6). Love is also elusive to Marin because the object of obsession dies too soon. Geraldo is dead and too cannot experience Marin’s love (PinkMonkey para 4).
The time it takes for the characters in these two stories to fall in love is too short. Jake starts flirting with Mariana immediately the accident happens (College Term Papers para 6). This implies that Jake does not see the need to take time and let love naturally blossom between the two of them. The same applies to Marin and Geraldo.
Marin’s concern for Geraldo’s welfare is immediate. It occurs the same night these two meet (PinkMonkey para 4). In this case, love is seen as an unpredictable and an instant urge requiring no time to establish itself naturally. That it is not necessary to investigate a person and find out who they are before falling in love with them. Love at first sight is possible.
Through Jake, Gilb presents love in very negative light. The reader sees love as selfish. Love is only for self-gratification. This is a very cynical view of love. Jake uses lies very well to create a false image and impression to appeal to Mariana (College Term Papers paras 6, 7). This is unlike Marin in the story Geraldo No Last Name. Marin’s love for Jake is unselfish and not self-gratifying. It is love concerned with a person well-being (Pink Monkey para 4). Cisnero therefore presents love as platonic.
Unlike Cisnero, Gilb present love as Flirtatious. Flirtatious love puts a mask on people’s face and therefore inhibits their ability to judge others and determine the truth about them. It obscures people s ability to see the reality. Jakes flirting softened Mariana and eventually yielded the telephone number (College Term Papers para 6). Marin’s love for Geraldo however is not out of flirting but out of sharing a common interest: dancing, even though the two had just met that night.
Another major difference in the worldview of these two authors is, while Gild presents love as more material and physical satisfaction, Cisneros’s love is platonic. Cisneros’s protagonist is concerned about how the state treats foreigners. Geraldo is not able to get proper medical attention, a situation Marin questions a lot (PinkMonkey para 4). On the contrary, jakes liking for Mariana is overtly out of physical desire.
This is evidently visible when fondling the cars bumper while fantasizing about Mariana. Jakes is a conceited man as he creates a false image of himself, and dreams of a fine car, home and life while sitting in the car. This reveals a shameless craving for material things (College Term Papers para 8).
These two authors are among many in the short story genre, who have attempted to define love. While their ideas are not universal, they reflect a lot of what happens in the society. Love is dynamic, having different meaning to different people. The most striking comparison is that love is unattainable, as the characters in these two stories exhibit. They are caught up in endless pursuit if love. When Jake and Marin thought that they had experienced love, it disappeared from their grasp. This leaves them desperate and heartbroken.
Both experience a sense of loss. While Gilbs style is satirical presenting love for self-gratification, Cisnero’s straightforward approach presents love and friendship a platonic, concerned with nonmaterial things. It is concerned with people’s wellbeing.
“Chapter Summary and Notes.” PinkMonkey. July 2007. Web.
“Dagoberto Gilb.” College Term Papers. 2008. Web.
“Geraldo No Last Name” GradeSaver. 2011. Web.