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The Love of My Life by T. Coragbessan Boyle

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The Love of My Life
The Love of My Life is a story bound by the college, home, jail, and the motel in which China and Jeremy’s baby is born and later killed. It is a story about two lovers, China and Jeremy, who have sex during a camping jaunt that results in China’s pregnancy. While China is not ready to have a baby, she is unwilling to procure an abortion. Therefore, she wants to keep the matter a secret and kill the baby upon its birth since Jeremy is all she wants (Thomas 285). While the main action of Boyle’s narrative involves unwanted pregnancy, she does not begin the story with the couple’s camping expedition or their first lovemaking. The story employs external conflict together with dialogue and imagery to express a central idea, namely why parents kill their children. The Love of My Life offers a poignant narrative of the limitations of infatuation, which leads China and Jeremy to commit the crime of infanticide.
The story demonstrates how infatuation and irresponsibility can cloud a couple’s judgment and distort their decision on having a child and killing it. Both Jeremy and China are criminally responsible for the child’s death; as they are all determined to “get rid” of the baby, which they eventually succeed. The two lovers both make a conscious decision to kill the baby and, therefore, are both responsible for the death of their child. The plot to kill the baby begins upon discovering that China is pregnant, and all through the pregnancy, Jeremy keeps saying, “You‘ve got to get rid of it” (Thomas 285).

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China does not want people to know and, therefore, she does not seek medical attention or get any help. When the baby finally arrives, she keeps saying, “Get rid of it, just get rid of it” (Thomas 287). The act of killing the baby goes directly against the child’s right life.
The Love of My Life completely overlooks compassion and morality to two people who are too infatuated with each other for their own good, trying to live their dream life, but ultimately failing at it. All through the story, Boyle gives emphasis to the fact that Jeremy and China are smart people, that they performed well in school, and that they were planning to go to prestigious colleges. Boyle notes that China “was hitting the books, studying late, putting everything in its place like pegs in a board” while Jeremy had been accepted at his father’s alma mater, “and his own G.P.A. would have put him in the top ten percent of their graduating class” (Thomas 284). This angle of the story communicates to the reader that the two were quick-witted and the killing of their baby was a carefully orchestrated event. Towards this end, both Jeremy and China are responsible for child’s death since their action qualifies as active or direct infanticide, which involves the deliberate killing of the baby.
Naturally, the reader is bound to sympathize with China and Jeremy, even though their actions are hideous. However, a number of things must be considered when meting out a fair sentence to both Jeremy and China. The first is whether their act was deliberate or accidental, whether other alternatives to infanticide were available, and whether they were in their right state of mind when carrying out their gruesome act. Without a doubt, the killing was deliberate, the two characters were in their correct state of mind, and the two couples had an alternative in the form of adoption if they never wanted the baby. As one keeps reading the story, it becomes difficult to tell who between the two characters to despise more – Jeremy, who likens throwing the baby in the dumpster to throwing a sack of flour, or China, who thinks that she would rather bleed to death that keep the baby. It appears that all the love and passion that the two had for each other dies away as the story progresses, especially after the death of the baby. They did not have any feelings left after they killed their child.
The Love of My Life brings to the fore the problems of unplanned pregnancy among young people, abortion among the youth, and cases of infanticide resulting from unplanned pregnancies (Spinelli 99). Parents and educational institutions have been striving to improve the success of students, helping them delay pregnancy or prevent having additional children, which would interfere with their education. Unwanted pregnancies constitute the most common causes of infanticide in today’s society (Lithwick 1; Barnett 411). The practice of infanticide was a widespread practice in past societies and was permitted by various cultures all over the world. However, while infanticide is considered as both unethical and criminal in the modern society, it is still performed, and the purpose of Boyle’s story is to illustrate this problem. As noted before, The Love of My Life offers a poignant narrative of the limitations of infatuation, which leads the main characters to commit the crime of infanticide out of an unwanted pregnancy.

Works Cited
Barnett, Barbara. “Medea in the Media: Narrative and Myth in Newspaper Coverage of Women Who Kill Their Children.” Journalism London Sage Publication. 7.4 (2006): 411-432. Print.
Lithwick, Dahlia. “When Parents Kill: Why Fathers Do It. Why Mothers Do It.” slate.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 7 Oct. 2015. <http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2002/03/when_parents_kill.html>.
Spinelli, Margaret G. Infanticide: Psychosocial and Legal Perspectives on Mothers Who Kill. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub, 2008. Print.
Thomas, Coraghessan. “The Love of My Life.” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, Robert Funk, Linda Coleman. Tenth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, inc., 2014. 281-290. Print.

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