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Manifestations of Personal Freedom in Protagonists with Differing Backgrounds - Essay Example

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The actions, reactions and learning of Nea and Jake are a product of their peculiar backgrounds. While Nea can be seen as coming close to realising that her special bond with her sister Sourdi is over but Jake can be seen persisting in his frame of mind from start to end. …
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Manifestations of Personal Freedom in Protagonists with Differing Backgrounds
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Download file to see previous pages On the one hand Jake’s frame of mind and his priorities do not change at all while Nea’s relationship with Sourdi changes but does not end altogether. Jake is portrayed as a typical suburban white teenage boy in the story “Love in L.A.” and his projection on life and its problems does not change from start to end. In the start Jake “needed an FM radio in something better than this ’58 Buick he drove” as well as a “crushed velvet interior with electric controls for the L.A. summer.” After his encounter with Mariana, Jake relapses into his previous train of thought as “he couldn’t stop the thought about that FM stereo radio and crushed velvet interior and the new car smell that would even make it better.” In contrast Nea can be seen developing new perspectives on the relationship between her sister and herself without changing the basic framework of the relationship. The knife attack on the customer in the restaurant reflects that Nea was ready to go to any length to protect her sister. Moreover the author reflects on their closeness by commenting that both sisters planned to run away with Sourdi being her legal guardian. However as the story develops, Nea realises that her relationship with Sourdi is coming to “a fork” and not to “crossroads” which signifies that their closeness is evaporating. Although this dimension of the relationship modifies but Nea’s protectiveness of her sister does not change at all. In fact Nea goes to great trouble to visit Sourdi’s house “a good six hours drive” through rain and snow to see if she has been beaten by her husband. Another noticeable difference between Jake and Nea are their reactions to social stimuli. As noted before Jake encounters Mariana and then persists in his frame of mind without modifying his attitude or perspective on life. On the other hand Nea eventually comes to the realisation that she can do little to change the existing circumstances. May Lee Chai signals this behaviour at the end of her chapter “Saving Sourdi” by commenting that Nea wished she “was a Naga” who “would have swallowed the whole world in one gulp” but she realises that she has “no magic powers”. The contrast between both characters reveals that Jake is hardly prepared to modify his life while Nea is on the track to adulthood and has begun to change her ideas as she encounters new experiences. It can also be reasoned that the actions and reactions of Jake and Nea are a product of their individual backgrounds. Jake has been portrayed as a person with little ambition in life except for changing his car, a “’58 Buick”. Moreover he is seen turning a car accident into an opportunity to flirt with a Cuban woman which is an indication of his priorities in life. Jake is also portrayed as a young person with little experience in life as he directly asks Mariana for her phone number right after the accident. His use of informal language with Mariana such as his musing that Mariana should give her number so that he wouldn’t “have to lay his regular b.s.” on her to get it later shows that his social interaction is largely limited to people his age only. Furthermore Jake does not seem to have either a stable career or a sense of direction for the future. He tells Mariana that he is a singer and then tells her that he acts and has a few movie appearances as a means of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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