Love and the Society
Love is one of the widest concepts that exist in society. Both stories focus on love but on different levels and the different ways it is viewed. The stories also focus on the change in human behavior. According to Flannery O’Connor, society has both good and bad people. There are love and hate at the same time. This is the reason as to why the story is based on a family that is close-knit in three generations; at the same time, there is the fear of a mad man on the loose who can hurt other people (O’Connor, 1953).
In the story of Love in LA, it shows the two sides of the world. There are nice and good people like Mariana and there are conniving and deceitful people who will lie to get themselves out of anything like Jake (Gilb, 2003). The good in society will always find a way of meeting the bad, but that does not mean that there is no love. There is love for money and love for people, both exist in LA.
The differences between the stories are very many but the one that stands out is the time. Love in LA is based on contemporary society. This is evident from the fact that Jake and Mariana exchange insurance details and are able to exchange mobile phone numbers. It is evident from the description of the vehicles as well. In the story of a good man is hard to find, the setting is of a past society. It is evident from the description of the way the people were dressed and the vehicles driven.
The writing styles for the stories are also different. In Love in LA, it is more of a narrative style where the writer is portrayed to be the lead character Jake but for the story of a good man is hard to find, has a more warm and elaborative style to it. It gives a step to step description of the things that the family does and the reasons behind their actions.
Love in LA is a story that starts on a freeway with Jake driving his car. He is not very impressed with his car and as he drives his thoughts to wonder off into the car of his dream. It is of much better quality, is expensive and has beautiful features. As he does so he crashes into a woman car. Jake is a bad boy living the LA life. He comes out as ambitious as he wants to have all the finer things in life. He is irresponsible as he drives and does not concentrate and causes an accident. He is a protagonist and is very deceitful as he gives Marianna a fake phone number and fake insurance information. He is also charming and very confident as he flatters with Mariana and gets himself out of the trouble he had just created.
Mariana comes out as very gullible as she allows the charms of a stranger to get in the way of him living up to his responsibilities. She is an innocent girl who is very trusting of people as she easily takes the words of Jake to be true yet he is deceiving her in order to get away. She is the typical daddy’s girl because almost everything she owns was bought for her by her daddy. She perceives Jake as a nice man who is interested in her but he is just looking for a quick exit that ensures that he will not pay for the damage he caused.
The story is set on a freeway which is meant to symbolize the freedom that is in LA. On a freeway is not a place people can meet and fall in love, however, it happens. It symbolizes how life in LA is very fast and there will be different types of people who will meet for different reasons (Gilb, 2003)
In the story of a good man is hard to find, according to the grandmother she is a righteous woman and anyone who has the same opinion as she is good and the reverse is true. She believes that Red Sammy is good because they share the same nostalgia about the good old times. The grandmother pretends to be a righteous woman and that she has the right to judge people but in a real sense, she is a sinner too (O’Connor, 1953). She lies to her grandchildren and manipulates her son and his wife. The grandmother’s hat is a symbol of hypocrisy. She wears it because she is looking forward to having an accident and dying and people will use it to recognize that she was a lady. When she is confronted by the misfits, she drops her hat and so does her pretext.
The misfits are a symbol of the grace of God and the fact that people may be judged to be evil by others but we are not allowed to judge them. The grandmother preaches of God and love in the society but does not want to be associated with the misfits. They represent the victims in society. The irony is used in the story because; if the cat had been left at home when the family would have lived. This is because the cat made the accident to occur and the misfits came and found the family. Irony also appears because before grandmother dies she reveals her true self and her hat falls off and it was the only thing that would have been used to identify her as a lady.
The writer, Flannery O’Connor, also uses a lot of foreshadowing when he refers to Toomsboro, right before the family is involved in an accident and misfits come into play. The name Toomsboro resembles the word tomb which was to ensure the reader gets the idea that the family is headed for doom (O’Connor, 1953).
The grandmother is brought up in a Christian background where she believes in heaven and hell. However, she wants to pretend she is righteous and that she and the misfits are not the same but they are all sinners (O’Connor, 1953). The misfits are rough people who have seen all bad things and have no moral code except to always get what they want regardless of who they injure, the sad part is that they will end up in the same heaven with the grandmother as God is gracious enough to forgive them of their sins.
In the story of Love in LA, Mariana may fall in love with Jake because he is good at making the impressions he desires. But Jake is in love with himself. He is more concerned about his looks, his car and the other material things that it comes out clearly, that in LA some people will fall in love with people and others will fall in love with the material things that can be ruined by accidents as demonstrated.
Gilb, D. (2003). Love in LA, Real-Columns Publishers
Love in LA: When Analyzed the Short Stories Entitled, Retrieved from
O’Connor, F. (1953). A Good Man is Hard to Find, Collections Publishers
Sparknotes: A Good Man is hard to Find: Summary and Explanations, Retrieved from
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