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Litr201Literature: a Reflection of Life

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LITR201Literature: A Reflection of Life Phase 1 Individual Project Short Stories Prof. Lambert Colorado Technical University Gayla Burow

Comparison Contrast Essay of Short Stories
This paper is to analysis two short stories “A Good Man is hard to find” and “Love in LA”. Both of these stories have some common similarities, however, seem to be different eras in time. It seems that both were summer when the stories took place, both mention too of course be on a highway at some point in the stories. In both of the stories, there are accidents, one being much harsher than the other, one being a fender bender the other left the family bleeding with broken bones. I felt that most of the characters seemed to be very selfish with only thoughts of themselves. The setting for Love in La is Jake daydreaming about a better car than the one he owns and is why he hits the other character in the stories in the first place. The setting in “A Good Man is Hard” to find, takes place in Georgia mostly told through the grandmother's eyes. It seems she wants to go to Tennessee and her son wanted to go to Florida. She did not get her way even with all the whining about the misfits on the loose. After the cat causes a car crash the family comes across the Misfits, and the grandmother seems to use her faith to save herself and her family from death
Characters
Jake seems to be a very lazy self-centered nature, he is most defiantly a protagonist in this story. Jake is a dishonest man and does not want to take the blame for the car crash. He is willing to lie about who he is and give a false number and false insurance information. Marina seems to be kind and very unknowing to the bad in the world. She is gullible and seems to believe all that Jakes is telling her. Jakes intentions are clear, he wants to be free of any consequences this mishap would have on him in.
In a Good Man is hard to find, it seems that all the characters are very self-centered only wanting what they want. For example, the son not caring about anything but it being a trip with now problems are not seeming to care that it was time with his family. When they fell into the hands of the murders, it seemed he want to save them and stands up to the bad guys, to no avail. The mother in this story seemed to have no real place as if she were invisible until the end wanting to be with her children and husband in the end at death. This was very sad as if she realized in the end what was important. The children were just children on a vacation, however, seemed unruly at one point John Wesley kicked the back of the seat. It is also said in the story that the children yelled and screamed “they wanted to see the house with the secret panel. June Star hung over her mother’s shoulder and whined desperately into her ear that they never had any fun even on their vacation” (Literature to Go, 2015). They talk the father in the taking the road trip to see this old house the grandmother tells about, Nevertheless, he is not happy about it. The owner of the tower, Red Sammy Butts seems to be somewhat of a good guy that does not believe much in anyone being good anymore. The two criminals that are with the misfits seem do all his dirty work. The criminals are the ones that truly kill the whole family besides the mother. They just seem to want whatever the misfit wants. Maybe they are doing this to stay alive themselves.

Symbolism
The metaphor of love in L.A, is, of course, the cars and the road. It is as if the high is a way for Jake made him feel free. A way to not be himself, even thinking a car he would rather have, He is daydreaming and this, in fact, causes the accident to take place. In A Good Man is Hard to find, there are a several piece that are symbolic in this story. First the hat the grandmother where, it was of the old days and showed her beliefs in a way. The name of the town Toonsboro was spookily similar to Doomsboro. This family was doomed the minute they drove into town. The car made you think of a funeral a dark black car the author describe it as a “ big black battered hearse-like automobile” (Literature to Go, 2015). This as if to symbolize death to come.

Theme and Tone In each story the authors are trying to communicate something about life or human nature, I think Dagoberto Gilb is trying to show a story about deception. His character Jake lies to this sweet naive female, and she believes him. This happens every day to someone live, maybe he is trying to say to not be so naïve in life some are nice and some are not. Jake had a chance to do the right thing, and he did not. His tone seems to make me think he may somehow see a little of himself in the bad guy trying to be good. Flannery O'Connor, I believe was showing a family that were all a little selfish and did not trust, Trust was spoken over and, again in this story. In the end they met up with the misfits that killed them. However it seemed the family in the end were together the mom wanting to be with her husband and kids knowing what her doom was. The tone of Flannery O'Connor seemed almost disgusted with the family. She tries to show the in the end the family ever so tragically show less thinking about themselves even the grandmother trying to explain to the misfit could be her son and touching him.
Irony
First in Love in L.A. the irony is just that love in L,A, someone trying to find love on a highway. This is not likely to happen and to find your soul mate in a town full of shallow, fake people much less after a fender-bender with a false and shallow liar. I think the Irony in A Good Man is hard to find, could perhaps be talking about Jesus. The grandmother tells the misfit she thinks he could be a good man and speaks Jesus name over and over again as if to say Jesus can save him and save her family. So could be the man that is hard to find in not an early man but talking about a relationship with Jesus.
Moral Code
Jake in my option had very little moral or values he lied about who he was and what he did for a living. He was willing to lie and cheat to get out of paying the damages to the car he caused. The fact that he had a license plate that he had stolen shows he is not new to deceit. The grandmother in “A good Man is hard to find” seems to be a Christian at first glance, however, is very judgmental, and selfish. She lied about bring the cat that was the cause of the accident in the first place. The Misfit in the stories seem to have no morals at all, He was, in fact, a killer. In the story, it makes you think maybe he killed his father just does not want to take the blame. He says he had a good upbringing, nevertheless do you believe a killer? He had no faith that I could see and his only pleasure he found was being mean to others. I find it hard to find anything good about the characters in this story, in fact, is was sad that it took them dying to bring them together as a family at the end. The mother wanted to go be with her husband at the end. The family just seemed to be unhappy and very selfish with very little respect for each other.
Reading these stories impacted me and the way I look at literature. Breaking these points down, made me think what the writers were trying to say and get across in their work. I made me think about what my action show versus what I think my actions show. “A Good Man Is Hard” to Find will haunt me it was griping, and I read it a few times before I really understood they the author was saying. I have not changed my view on love, however, will never read a book the same way again.
References

Dagoberto Gilb (2004). Love in LA, Retrieved 04/08/2015 from Literature to Go CTU online
Flannery O’Connor (1953). A Good Man is Hard to Find, Retrieved 04/08/2015 from Literature to go CTU online.…...

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