Susan Minot 's `` Lust ``

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Though both characters seem to seek empty relationships, Jake, from Dagoberto Gilb’s “Love in L.A.” seeks them to fulfill his own self-interest; while the female narrator from Susan Minot’s “Lust” enters into them because it is what she believes is expected of her, showing the motivations for the actions of these two characters are very different. Both short stories vary in setting and character motivation, but nonetheless, the characters from both pursue relationships which are virtually meaningless to themselves.
Love in L.A.” follows a brief excerpt from the life of Jake, the stories narrator. Jake is a man without steady employment, but with high aspirations. He is driving an old Buick while he is stuck in L.A. traffic, but believes he will one day have a car that has “crushed velvet interior with electric controls” to compliment a lifestyle that includes “exotic colognes, plush, dark nightclubs, maitais and daiquiris, necklaced ladies in satin gowns, misty and sexy like in a tequila as” (Gilb 537). His musings are cut short as he rear-ends a Toyota in front of him, during a light change, and it is here were the reader really gets to understand his character. The driver he hits is a young woman named Mariana from Venezuela who lives with her family and works a real job. Jake is attracted to her and decides to flirt with her in the process of exchanging information. The damage to Mariana’s car is significant, with “the trunk lid, the bumper, a rear panel, [and] a
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