Short Fiction

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Dagoberto Gilb is a Los Angeles-born American writer who was born in 1950. His family heritage is not very appealing, as his parents divorced when he was young, leaving his mother to raise him. However, this would not deter him from making the most of his life when he made it to university, namely the University of California, where he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees. David Henry Hwang was born in Los Angeles in 1957, by coincidence. David, on the other hand, attended Stanford University and earned a bachelor's degree in English. Also, he then took literature classes at Yale School of Drama but left after new plays were being worked on by various directors. Both Gilb and David started their writing careers after that. This paper looks into detail how Dagoberto Gilb’s “Love in L.A,” and David Henry Hwang’s “Trying to Find Chinatown” compares and contrasts.

Love, the theme of love is evident in both “Love in L.A” and Chinatown. Gettis is madly in love with his girl but later on loses her to a bullet, which leaves him with nothing at all. This seems quite the opposite to people’s expectation leaving them hopeless for the future (Dagoberto 15). Jake is passionate about cars making him quite obsessed with his car.

Jake is deceitful in the sense that he wins Maria over after asking for her number. Before that, he ironically wishes that they could stay a little longer so that they could hook up. He further goes ahead to claim that he had forgotten his license when asked for it. Looking at David Hwang’s play, love is also is encountered (Dagoberto 15).

In both the play "Trying to Find Chinatown" and "Love in L.A," humor is brought out pellucidly. Gilb uses humor to express the personalities of the main character, Jake. For instance, Jake is involved in a car accident, but from his Casanova motives, instead of worrying about Mariana's condition, instead, he launches his moves, asks for her number, then further wishes that she does not get well anytime soon for them to get to know each other more. Humor is also seen in the play "Trying to Find Chinatown" whereas

is dramatizes both the pain and humor of the immigrant experience (Hwang 56).

However, the two differ in a significant way. To begin with, Trying to Find Chinatown is a play while Love in L.A is a story. Trying to Find Chinatown is a play written by David Henry Hwang, who is very much conversant with playwriting. On the other hand, Love in L.A is a story written by Dagoberto Gilb. The play revolves around an American street musician, who in this case is Maria (Hwang 56).

Five themes are dominant in the story "Love in L.A" they include Materialism, privilege, romance, life aspirations, and the pursuit of happiness. Each idea coexists on its own and successfully brings out what the writer intended for his target audience. The first theme to look at is materialism. Jake is more attached to his car, apart from that, he is more into his looks, what he wears, what he applies, in fact, he dreams of living a fancy life (exotic colognes, nightclubs) and exploring different places (Dagoberto 15). Jakes personality is more of a Casanova, who after bumping into Maria's car just after saying hi, he starts making his moves on her. He then asks for her number, but Maria fakes one for him.

He cares less about the state Maria and the car are. Instead, he even wishes for more time so that they could spend it together getting to know each other more (Dagoberto 15).

Stereotypes is another theme that is explored in Chinatown is stereotypes. It is evident that conflict crops up after Benjamin approaches Ronnie for the location of Chinatown. On the contrary, the question offends Ronnie instead. We are not aware whether Benjamin meant it in such way even though as for Ronnie he feels some form of racism coming from Benjamin. He assumed Ronnie knew the precise location where Chinatown is or instead he and would offer him the directions (Hwang 56).

In both Love in L.A and Trying to Find Chinatown, the characters are so engaging in the sense that in most chapters and instances, other characters are involved. Jake involves Maria whereas Benjamin engages Ronnie. Consequently, the monologue is avoided thus bringing life to the play being cast (Dagoberto 15). Similarly, in both Gilb and Hwang’s work, cultural differences are addressed, characters present are from different cultural backgrounds. For instance, Benjamin is believed to be of Asian origin even though his roots are traced to be from the Chinese culture. After a word of confrontation between the two, Benjamin goes back to his father's home where his family is immigrants from a different place. Ronnie and Benjamin were from of diverse cultural backgrounds; it is essential to realize that anyone's racial identity is not founded or gauged from their skin color, however, how one can connect from another person from quite a different culture (Hwang 56).

In conclusion, each writer successfully uses his or her skills and knowledge into drafting out something incredible to be appreciated by generations to come. The language used to bring out everything is transparent and much more comfortable to comprehend.

Works Cited

Dagoberto Gilb." 28 Nov 2017 .

Hwang, David H. Trying to Find Chinatown: The Selected Plays. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2000. Internet resource.

October 20, 2022

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