There are many reasons to draw attention to the short story, 55 Miles to the Gas Pump, written by Annie Proulx: first, it consists of two long and one very short sentences only; second, this short story clearly describes the lives of two people, whose partnership is destroyed because of secrets; and finally, the author makes a wonderful attempt to use dark humor as a powerful weapon against lies and betrayal in families. 55 Miles to the Gas Pump is a narration that shows how difficult the relations between the partners can be; it is a good example of how 12-year-old relations may be destroyed by a skeleton in the closet and how difficult for people to live with their own lies and sins that suicide turns out to be the only decision.
The main theme of Proulx’s short story is the relations between a man and a woman. In fact, many factors may influence the development of the relations within a family, and the author chooses the following points: the location of the house (the country), the duration of the partnership (12 years), and the level of trust between a wife and a husband (wife’s inability to get to the attic). On the one hand, these factors may seem to be not as important as love or understanding. On the other hand, the author easily proves how successful the choice is. Within two long sentences, the reader comprehends how difficult the relations in a family may be.
Though the results of Mr. Croom’s actions are hidden at the attic, Ms. Croom is likely to know about them “just as she thought: the corpses of Mr. Croom’s paramours – she recognizes them from their photographs in the paper” (Proulx, 2011, para.2). She is not surprised or scared; she accepts a chance to visit an attic as a possibility to satisfy her curiosity. It also seems like she understands that her husband will not come back home this time. What is it: the result of life together for about 12 years? Or is it a perfectly created plan? The author makes the reader think a lot about the possible development of relation in this family, about the reasons of betrayal, and about the necessity to keep secrets which are not yours. 55 Miles to the Gas Pump seems to be a hard to comprehend story, and it is necessary to read the story twice or even more times to understand how thoughtful, educative, and captivating it actually is.
Simile example: Proulx’s 55 Miles to the Gas Pump is as fascinating and absorbing as Mona Lisa’s smile.
Metaphor example: Hiding secrets in a family is nothing but the creation of a trap for yourself.
I am deeply impressed with Proulx’s story, and I cannot help but create the two figures of speech using my feelings and emotions. In a simile, I compare 55 Miles to the Gas Pump with Mona Lisa’s smile because, first, I cannot get why so many people are fascinated with both of them so much, and second, I do believe that these two works of art have certain impact on people.
My metaphor depicts my understanding of the story itself: I realize there are many factors that may destroy human life and family; still, I truly believe that secrets are those terrible traps which are created by people and turn out to be really dangerous for a family.
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