L.A.'s Traffic Causes Trouble Essay

962 Words Mar 25th, 2005 4 Pages
Whether you're stuck on the 405 freeway during rush hour, on the 15 freeway heading back from a long-weekend vacation, or driving through the busy streets of Hollywood, traffic on the highways and streets of Los Angeles can often be a hassle. In Dagoberto Gilb's short story Love in L.A., first published in 1986, the troubles of traffic are experienced first hand by our main character Jake. Jake is a common fellow with a steady occupation who is merely trying to make his way to work through the busy streets of Hollywood. As he is working his way through the piled traffic, not paying complete attention to the road in front of him, Jake crashes into the back of a Toyota. In the midst of exchanging information with the driver of the Toyota, …show more content…
Not wanting to look powerless in comparison to Mariana, Jake lies about having insurance coverage in order to avoid looking foolish. The contrast between the male and female characters of the story is the framework to gender criticism.
The Marxist critics carefully analyze the difference in class and social status. The character of Jake seems to be a male from the lower social class because he lacks financial stability. Jake fails to provide legitimate insurance information because he cannot afford car insurance. Not only is he not able to afford his insurance, but Jake also cannot afford to buy a new car. Before colliding into Mariana's Toyota, Jake daydreams about what it would be like to have a luxurious car. "He needed an FM radio in something better than this '58 Buick he drove. It would have crushed velvet interior with electric controls for the LA summer, a nice warm heater and defroster for the winter drives to the beach, a cruise control for those longer trips," (628) Numerous times in the story the financial status of Jake is brought to the reader's attention. As Jake is about to drive away after the accident, he notices Mariana "was writing down the license plate numbers on his Buick, ones that he'd taken off a junk because the ones that belonged to his had expired a long time ago." (630) Jake's low social class is depicted here in the story when the author reveals that the license plate to his Buick is taken

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