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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Immediately after the crash, the following exchange occurs between the narrator and the husband who was driving the Oldsmobile: Soon, other unusual statements appear. Request the removal of this essay.

Start with what your character wants, then consider ways to achieve that goal. Although we have no reason to suspect that the narrator is a bad person, his actions in the story make him seem self-interested. I held the warm pages. Consider the word “subtext” — under the text. 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?

Car Crash While Hitchhiking Analysis

And then there are stories that pivot on turns of phrase. Phone number Phone number should have at least 10 digits. What a pair of lungs! 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. I find it hard to understand why Johnson chose to include this element in the story.

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. Glover’s example for “lying” is the following: The first few lines act as a sort of dehydrated version of the complete story. Because the narrator’s main desire is to avoid knowledge, it follows logically that he would refuse to explain what’s going on.


This exchange creates more space between the juxtaposition, and perhaps becomes clearer to the reader on a second read-through, but either way, what’s important is that the writer has established the contrast for the reader.

I was exhausted, and after an hour I slept more deeply. Besides, before he got into the third and final car ride, the narrator maintains that he could foretell that a car crash is going to happen.

It’s a way to use dialogue for expository purposes. Already used you can also find it in your mailbox.

Your email is invalid! I agree to receive discount coupons, exclusive offers, and the latest news by email, SMS, phone, and other electronic means. As if to emphasize this hard truth, the story concludes with a furious last line: I had read it while walking, that language toggling between barspeak and prophecy forming a contraption full of motion and destination but mysterious in the ground it covered.

In “Car Crash while Hitchhiking” Denis Johnson introduces us to the narrator that will remain throughout all of the stories in the book Jesus’ Son. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. For writers looking for an example of masterful dialogue, they need look no further than Denis Johnson’s “Car Crash While Hitchhiking. Without one, there cannot be the other.

Short Fiction Daily: Car Crash while Hitchhiking Summary and Analysis

I knew a certain Oldsmobile would stop for me even before it slowed, and by the sweet voices of the family inside it I knew we’d have an accident in the storm. For this reason, the reader gets to a place where the events of the story are no longer operative since, after all, they are narrated from the twisted mind of a narrator who is under the influence of drugs. My teacher disappeared down the hall.


Place an order now. Compared to writing novels, writing short fiction is mainly a question of knowing what to leave out.

He’s eventually taken to the hospital, where he refuses an X-ray and, years later, begins hearing voices from boxes of cotton.

Another technique suggested by Glover is “answering with a question. The key to subtext is establishing a clear intention or goal for your character. 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… And a family from Marshalltown who head-onned and killed forever a man driving west out of Bethany, Missouri… By the time I was past the chain-link fence of the radio station and up the gravel drive and sad cement stoop of the narrow utility house I lived in the story was finished.

The story scared me. The relationship between subtext and dialogue is a symbiotic one. Touchstone, What has happened to get him in this altered state? This is free of charge.

The foundation for subtext is provided at the beginning of the story, when the narrator’s foresight is established. A short story must be, by definition, short. For writers interested in creating subtext, it’s critical that your main character’s inner self be clearly established for the reader. It saves only one person at a time, and the world is full of people. There is a climactic event some exposition but none of the characters possess an arc and the story might be merely a figment of the narrator’s imagination.

Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Of course, by asking these questions, he’s receiving the answers he had hoped to avoid.