Complete summary of Denis Johnson’s Car Crash While Hitchhiking. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Car Crash While Hitchhiking. Stories Strangely Told is a monthly series that explores formal experiment in short-form fiction. When I was twenty and thought I had just about. Car Crash While Hitchhiking themeTold in the first person’s voice, by a seemingly psychic narrator who of the voices of the family in the car, and caring not about the impending car crash (Johnson 6). Johnson, Denis. “Car.

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Your email address will not be published. Additionally, the unreliability of the narrator is exemplified at the point where he states that during the thunderstorm he could distinctly identify each rain drop and going so far as to recognize each droplet by name Johnson 4. Consider the word “subtext” — under the text. Oftentimes, a new character will be introduced who doesn’t know what’s going on, and things will be explained to this new character and, by extension, the reader. For example, when the narrator in “Car Hitchhikijg While Hitchhiking” hitchhiiing the semi-truck driver that he can’t tell who is and who isn’t dead, the reader understands that he’s lying, even though there isn’t any exposition explicitly stating this, because we saw an earlier conversation where the narrator was told that the man’s wife is dead.

Phone number Phone number should have at least 10 digits. I agree to receive discount coupons, exclusive offers, and the latest news by email, SMS, phone, and other electronic means. I bought the denid soon after and the copy I still own is marked with the desperate symbols of a kid trying to unearth some jonhson mechanism behind prose that really has more to do with poetry.

This is him, right before their car hits a sedan parked on the highway:. Another reasons why I believe this story occurs in the narrator’s head is that he claims to possess the ability to see the future.

All this Denis Johnson does in a little over a thousand words. It’s a way to use dialogue for expository purposes. This being said, the reader is bound to consider the narrator unreliable since it seems to them that the reality of the story is twisted primarily because the narrator is under the influence of some drugs.


No explanation is given.

Stories Strangely Told: Denis Johnson’s “Car Crash While Hitchhiking”

By conflating registers of time and tone, he delivers a narrative where the personal brushes up against the eternal, all from a single incident, or accident, on a deniw night. The Overlook Press, In this aliveness he had learned how to make a conduit of words. It felt wonderful to be alive to hear it! Soon, other unusual statements appear.

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To begin with, by the time his narration begins, the narrator has already been to three different cars where he had been drugged by the owners of the car. When he wrote about women they were often hypersexed shadows. By asking questions of those around him, he is demonstrating jjohnson he doesn’t possess the answers.

I read in the lobby:. Sign Up With Facebook. Return to the order form. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. The foundation for subtext is provided at the beginning of the story, when the narrator’s foresight is established. Clearly this writer was more alive than I was. What’s tricky is considering all the possible actions available to the character. The author, on the other hand, removes any form of rational linkage from his story by giving all forms of unacceptable behavior on the part of the narrator.

However, despite the introduction of a new character the semi-truck driverthe ceash refuses to explain anything to him, and rather than just subverting the trope for the hitchhikin of subverting it, Denis Hitchiking does so with a purpose. I knew every raindrop by its name. The problem is that the narrator is high on several kinds of drugs which threatens the reliability of his story. For writers looking for an example of masterful dialogue, wyile need look no further than Denis Johnson’s “Car Crash While Hitchhiking.

A semi-truck comes upon the scene of the wreck and the driver asks the narrator, who is holding the baby that was beside him in the backseat of the Oldsmobile, “Is everybody dead?


Reply to this comment. The narrator, after all, is the one with the answers. Currently you have JavaScript disabled.

Crrash that follow the logic of language which is a logic rhythm and freedom and possibility. High on hashish, alcohol, and amphetamine that was given to him by three people he had met on the road, the mystical hyperawareness told by the narrator appears like a delusional effect of the drugs he had taken. The only times the narrator expresses any feelings on the events taking place are when he sees the dying man on the road and when he hears the wife of the dying man shriek in the hospital.

At his most lazy, he fell into the same white-boy traps of an Elmore Leonard or Hunter S.

Car Crash While Hitchhiking Analysis

We use cookies for best user experience. Of course, by asking these questions, he’s receiving the answers he had hoped to avoid. The narrator is either too stoned or too tired to share his knowledge of the future. For writers interested in creating subtext, it’s critical that your main character’s inner self be clearly established for the reader.

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Stories Strangely Told: Denis Johnson’s “Car Crash While Hitchhiking”

According to the narration given, the description of the accident is, in its deepest essence, frightening to the extreme. It’s the quickest way to find dsnis you’re looking for: Request the removal of this essay. How do you keep a narrative brief and still have it function as a story?

This disparity needs to be exploited for subtext to emerge. A salesman who shared his liquor and steered while sleeping…A Cherokee filled with bourbon…A VW no more than a bubble of hashish fumes, captained by a college student…. Car Crash While Hitchhiking Analysis.