Here’s some sort of analysis on Lysley Tenorio’s L’amour, CA.


Lysley Tenorio’s L’amour, CA is perhaps a short story that is classified as fiction. It is an exquisite literary piece which deeply entrenches the essence of values among Filipino families especially those who have left their homeland to try their fate in another country. This single representation somehow recounts a story that doesn’t just administer a sequence of events but also acknowledges details that might as well embody the ideals and the reality that our society inhabits. Through variations in circumstances, cultures, beliefs, traditions, and even manners, the significance of such disclosure creates a wider perspective that is not dogmatically confined within a certain standpoint.

The events in the story are presented in chronological order. Series are then identified to be causally related. Perhaps there are happenings that have been emphasized, have been told as flashbacks, or have been intended to foreshadow future instances, the main sequence still constructs the A → B → C → D → E → F → G pattern. From the beginning until the end, the plot remains structurally intact.

So, the plot is narrated from the point of view of a child as he/she is supposedly younger than his/her sister named Isa. He/she belongs to a typical Filipino family that is about to leave the Philippines anytime soon. They take the plane to San Francisco where they will make a living. The environment is not similar from what they have been used to: from farmlands to buildings, from close ties to distant relationships, and more issues. Even the people are strange to them. They have to go through a different way of living and interaction with their new surroundings. Isa, Darwin (another sibling), and the narrator still go to school. They are being taken care of by their mother. The eldest, who must be accompanied by her siblings and be fetched by her father, finds a job on summertime. She meets Malcolm at Lanes. They hang together. They are gone the next days. The family searches for Isa everywhere but she cannot be found. Months have passed when Isa appears again. She is pregnant which must also be dealt with by her family as the guy is nowhere to show himself. Her belly starts to get bigger and the narrator demands her to explain what has really happened when she had been gone; since they used to be close to each other. The day comes when she has to deliver the baby so she asks for help. There goes the narrator in his/her high-spirited side, running outside until the eleventh house on the street. With a pinch of joy in his/her heart, he/she looks forward to go back home… in love.

It is noticeable that among the characters, Isa can be referred to as the central/ leading character. She is classified as a round and dynamic character. The story is almost all about her as the narrator talks more about her. At the beginning, Isa is an enthusiastic girl who feels so ecstatic about their relocation from San Quinez to California. She has this passion to start a new life and explore with the place she loves to belong with, somewhere she can call home. She is sometimes rebellious, sometimes sweet. She has been immature but has been growing as time passes by. Perhaps she seems unstoppable from her will; a lot of changes take place. One big event that contributes to this transition is her pregnancy with its consequences before, during, and after it has occurred. Another main character is the narrator himself/herself whose gender is never mentioned all throughout the narration. He/she and the rest of the family members, at some point, are flat and static characters. He/she has a playful side that expounds his/her sweetness and being good-natured as a younger sibling. Darwin, who seems to be born in between his other two siblings, is usually an unresponsive boy. He is not affectionate but rather mischief towards his siblings; although he shows some respect to his parents. The father is a responsible man who works as a U.S. Navy and secures his family. The mother looks after the basic needs of her family members and nurtures them. Perhaps they can provide the primary necessities of the family; problems still arise due to somehow a bit reserved personality and some misunderstanding. They may be protective but not the type of persons who are always clinging in to each other. Also, one of the reasons why they act the way they do in the narrator’s perspective is because of the adjustments that they are all trying to make. Meanwhile, Malcolm can be considered as a secondary character- flat and dynamic. He is probably an American citizen who is the father of the child that Isa bears. He is not too good of an influence to her. He is carefree, indecent, and unreliable. This eventually leads to another challenge for Isa and her family.

Apparently, modes of characterization are interweaving; but of course, there will always be something that is greater than the other. There’s more to the dramatic mode than expository mode in this case.

The setting of the story begins on a few days in the Philippines before the family has departed. A small southern village of San Quinez depicts a simple living whereas people know each other and natural resources can be well-appreciated. The atmosphere of their area is full of warmth and closeness. The events happen mostly in United States of America particularly in San Francisco, California as the family members have arrived. There is a sudden portrayal of contrasting descriptions between a residence in the Philippines and a residence in the States. The family may have been experienced a considerable amount of culture shock which requires them to adapt to their new environment. As for the period when the story has existed, it can be inferred that it doesn’t go away from the modern times (through the use of language and other indicative terms such as the aforementioned blue Impala, Cheryl Tiegs, Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos).

The narrator is a first-person observer. It qualifies to that of the definition of the “I-narrator” wherein he/she has a minor role in the story. Events continually unfold whether or not the narrator himself/herself has an involvement. In this story, the narrator is more of a protagonist than an antagonist since he/she is not the person who gets in conflict with the main character/s. In addition to that, he/she is actually the closest to the leading actor.

In general, the short story is all about striving for survival without compromising too much of what is deemed to be more necessary. For this story, the theme revolves around a family- specifically a Filipino family. In spite of the struggles that each member faces, the holistic spirit still keeps them as one, no matter what. A person’s plan may not be coordinated to that of the other, but that neither means the problem cannot be resolved nor the mistake cannot be corrected. It takes time to learn things, wisdom to accept the difference between what is ideal and what is real, passion to keep going, and most of all, love to carry on with the life they have.

The last page of this fiction immensely establishes a quite symbolic relevance to how the narrator responds upon seeing Isa back home. He/she runs to the eleventh street once again where a lady waves at him/her, then he/she nods. He/she turns back to their house with a spark of joy, of hopes that Isa has already returned and they can start a new life. It is Christmas season and a baby in their family is about to be born. Although the ending leaves its readers hanging, there’s so much more to assume. To expect a colorful world for the narrator’s family for the years ahead- is not too bad. Have they truly found L’amour in Lemoore? How are they now?

As it can be sensed, this fiction is extensively a catalyst to broaden the horizon of the readers to think and feel the expressions and knowledge that are incorporated within the story. It doesn’t just type a couple of texts for an interpretation but aims to inspire.

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