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Literary Analysis Rich in Love

Love is something that no one really can define. It is a feeling that over comes you, sometimes unexpectedly. You can’t always explain the feeling of love however many try. At the beginning of the novel Lucille seems to try and come across as if she is fully knowledgeable on the matter of love. She knew everything she needed to know and had no problem expressing this. She felt that the love that surrounded her was true love, and the love that anyone needed in order to keep a marriage or a family together. However, throughout the novel Lucille’s point of view and thoughts about love change in many ways, however one idea stays constant; “you love what you bump into” . Lucille’s philosophy concerning bumping into love strengthened as each page was turned, however she was able to grow and learn more about love than she ever though imaginable.

With in the first few pages of the book Lucille enlightens us with her witty and at times odd comments and outlook on life. The tone that the author uses very much matched what the voice of a seventeen year old girl may sound like. However we very quickly learn that Lucille does not seem to be a “normal” teenage girl. Throughout the book the tone of Lucille is very observant; she reacts to many small details in life differently than other teenagers usually would. Lucille even herself knew that she was different from many others her age. “When other seniors were screeching out of the Wando parking lot in their Cherokees and Broncos, I strapped on my helmet and backpack in plain sight…If I had been a normal teenage girl I might had cared, but I wasn’t and didn’t” . Lucille did not care what others thought, she felt that she lived the perfect life, she had the perfect family she “loved, loved, loved the place [she] lived” , and was under the illusion that all of this was untouchable, “nothing could touch us” .

Lucille had many feelings towards love. She thought she knew all that was needed to be known about love and even marriage. However her strong beliefs seemed to take a hit when she came home to find that her mother had left them. To Lucille her parents had the perfect marriage, a marriage of comfort. “Love needs passion, but marriage needs the opposite – steady comfort, which they had” , Lucille once said. However throughout the book and with Lucille’s growth it seems that Lucille learned, more than she thought possible, about love, and what love truly does represent. When the surprise of a pregnant sister and new brother in law enters Lucille’s already chaotic life, she begins to learn things about love and witness acts of love she was not familiar with. All through her life Lucille witnessed that love was shown through material items and physical relationships, “a man who buys clothing for a woman must really love her” . Lucille seemed to have a distraught view of love; she didn’t seem to notice the emotional sides of love until she herself was in love. Growing up myself, I had a very different view of love, than Lucille did. I have never thought love is shown through physical and material items. Surrounding me growing up love was showing someone you care about them, listening to them when they are talking to you, being there for them when they need you, they are there to pick you up when you fall, they are there to wipe away your tears and would do anything for you. I never saw my parents buy each other gifts just to give them to one another, the love they had was past that. They did not need to prove it by spending money. Seeing the way they look at each other you can tell that they have an emotional love, a love in which they connect in a way no one else can unless they too, experience love with someone.

When Billy entered Lucille’s life she had no idea what the future entailed. She seemed to not expect what would soon happen to her, and she seemed as if she could not control it. Lucille considered herself “a good judge of character” and felt that was “something amiss about [Billy], something weak” . However as Lucille was trying so hard to read Billy, by coincidence she figured him out, as Rae entered the room that Billy and Lucille were one morning Lucille realized what was amiss, “the man was in love” . Lucille began to notice the way his presence changed when he was around Rae, “he acted altogether like a bumbling cowpoke smitten with love for the schoolteacher” , and she had “never seen anything like this before” . Lucille saw the way he looked at her, the way he would touch her ever so slightly as if he just wanted to make sure she was by him. With the love that Billy had for Rae, Lucille began to see that there was a different kind of love out there, and that the love Rae showed in return or that the love her parents had was not the only kind of love. Lucille was also surrounded by another strong love, a love that seemed true. Wayne was in love with Lucille. However Lucille was not in love with Wayne, she “could no longer keep up the sexual pace of [their] relationship, [she] had pretty much lost interest in it” . Lucille knew he was a good caring person however she could not help the fact that she was not in love with him, Lucille said that she “never felt the feeling of ‘desire.’ In ‘desire’ there is darkness and some fear” . Lucille had love right in front of her; Wayne was offering her his love however Lucille did not want it. She instead came to realization that her belief of “bumping into love” is indeed how love hit her. Billy was a surprise in Lucille’s life. She bumped into him. And Lucille soon came to realize that she in love with Billy, not a love for your brother in law or for your best friend, but a love that is deep, a love that had “desire”.

Throughout the book Lucille and Billy’s relationship evolved. They began to connect in a deeper way than either had expected. One night, before Lucille was meeting Wayne, Billy and Lucille seemed to have the first connection that sparking the fire that led them down an unexpected path. They began to talk and have a deep conversation, relating to one another. This was the night that Billy touched a nerve of Lucille that had never been touched. Billy “recognized” Lucille. Billy said to Lucille, “You have a lot of love in you” . As Billy left the dock on which they were sitting, Lucille “felt serene, but also thrilled. ‘You have a lot of love,’ he had said. That was me; that was the me. I had been recognized” . That night Lucille once again tried to be intimate with Wayne, however that night when she slept she had “a love dream…the man in the dream was never once Wayne, but was Billy McQueen, again and again and again” . Once Lucille was hit with the love she felt towards Billy, she seemed to become a new person. She noticed things she had never noticed before, she was observant of the things she over looked before. Lucille at one point said, “all I wanted to do with my life was watch Billy McQueen” , Lucille was overcome with the indefinable, unexplainable, feelings of true love. Lucille began to treat Billy the way he had once treated Rae. She was not doing anything intentionally, but was only acting on her feelings of love. Lucille “took the opportunities where [she] found them: drove him to Wando in the mornings and picked him up at three; fixed his food and washed his laundry; stood near when he polished his shoes” . Lucille was not doing these things because Billy asked her, or for him to return the favor, she acted on love. She wanted to make him smile, wanted to make things easier for him, wanted to do the little things so

that he knew she cared. She didn’t do it because she had to but because it was what she wanted to do. With my own experience of love, the actions that Lucille began to take are the actions of true love. In my own relationship I just want to do things that will make my boyfriend smile, I do not act so that he will return the favor, but I only hope that it makes his day better. The relationship I have is not based on buying things, and neither was Lucille’s. I very much related to Lucille with the feelings she had, that caused her to act the way she did. It’s not always easy to explain, but if you truly care about someone, deeper than you knew was possible, you do things that you don’t always know how to justify. You act in ways you had only heard of, you put your significant other above yourself, but not in a demoralizing way, all you want is for them to be happy because along with their happiness comes your own. Lucille grew in many ways though out this book. She learned more about love than she had ever imagined. She learned that love progresses, you do not always notice it right away, her love for Billy progressed into something she nor him was expecting. Lucille also helped me realize that your idea of love is shaped by your own experiences and the kind of love that surrounds you. Lucille thought of her parents love, as the true love, even though she began to act differently towards Billy. Lucille was unlike her mother in the way that her mother seemed reluctant to drive her father around however Lucille would want to drive Billy, even if it was to just have more time in accompany with him. I myself have my own view of love, which is different from Lucille’s original thought of love, and marriage. I believe marriage does need love, and passion in addition to comfort. My parents love is what I picture of true love and the faith and respect they have for each other is what I wish to obtain in my own marriage. Lucille

seemed to be like any other teenager, she thought she knew more than she did, and with unexpected events, learned so much more than she ever imagined she would. She was caught off guard but things in her life, however it helped her mature, some of her philosophies concerning love and life changed. However there was a strong consistency of the belief that “you love what you bump into” . Billy was a surprise in her life, she bumped into him, and Billy was the one that she did truly end up loving. Lucille was right; she loved what she bumped into.

Book Review


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