Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Single Man - San Tomas State College

"The San Tomas State College campus is back on the other side of the freeway. You cross over to it by a bridge, back into the nowadays of destruction-reconstruction-destruction" (Isherwood 42).

This "deconstruction-reconstruction-deconstruction" represents George's observation of the gentrification occurring in the San Gabriel Valley where apartment buildings are built as quickly as possible. George points out the irony of each building's unique title; they lack any other individuality. This links back to George's disdain for the new families in his neighborhood with their homes' quaint names. Although George worships the speed and swiftness of the freeway system, he marks with abhorrence any renewal or damaging of the Los Angeles landscape.

George's position as English professor at a state college places him on the outskirts of society, which is ironic, as the college itself is located in the interior of L.A., in what is now a fairly affluent place. George's fear and reluctance to identify with the normative make his whole-hearted engagement in this part of L.A. an impossibility. He must reconstruct his own "I" in order to participate in this society, reborn out of the strange conflation between destruction/reconstruction. George's power to create his status in front of his students every day indicates that Los Angeles is a place where identities are constructed and destroyed daily, all due to the great sense of isolation between communities and its "single" men and women.

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