55 Miles To The Gas Pup Short Story

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Literal-minded people are not like the super-very-awesome people. Literal-minded people, like the name suggests, are people that think of very thing in a literal sense. Their minds don’t automatically interpret the meaning of things, such as symbolism, deeper meanings, figurative language, and other literary devices. On the other hand, the super-very-awesome people think of things in a creative may. Their brains tend to notice the various literary devices and alternative meanings and motives in different types of literature. Therefore, the literal-minded people have a harder time than the super-very-awesome people when it comes to finding the deeper meanings in minimalist stories. John Barth’s “A Few Words on Minimalist Fiction” provides
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The two short stories “55 Miles to the Gas Pump” by Annie Proulx and “The Cranes” by Peter Meinke are both “remarkably short stories” because their “plots aren’t long, [but] they are intriguing because they engage the characters in conflicts that are crucial to them and will likely matter to you” (Atwood, 620). . Proulx and Meinke’s stories both fulfil Barth’s description of minimalist fiction and suggest that “less is more” by using simplicity and symbolism and irony.
The simplicity that Proulx and Meinke use in “55 Miles to the Gas Pump” and “The Cranes”respectively, fit into Barth description on minimalist fiction. Barth explains that minimalist fiction uses “minimal characters, minimal exposition, minimal [setting], minimal action, minimal plot” (Barth, 3). It takes the “super-very-awesomeness” of the super-very-awesome people to identify simple elements in stories that have deep meanings. In “55 Miles to the Gas Pump”, Prolux reveals the death of Rancher Croom as he“looks down on tumbled rocks, waits, then steps out,” but the lack of development in this line does not take away from the overall effect of his death (Proulx 578). Following Mr. Croom’s death, Mrs. Croom discovers her husband’s murder victims stored in
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In “55 Miles to the Gas Pump”, Mrs.Croom has to break into her own attic from the roof because her husband has a padlock on the door (Prolux, 578). Once she finally sees into the attic, “she recognizes [the women] from their photographs in the paper: missing woman” because there are numerous bodies of her husband’s victims. This is ironic because the Crooms live far away from civilization. In this area, there will be no one to notice Mr. Croom kidnap and murder the women, let alone report the whereabout of the women. The literal minded people would think that Mrs. Croom was unaware of her husband's murders because she is only now finding the bodies after he commits suicide. The super-very-awesome people, on the other hand, realize that Mrs. Croom when she gets into the attic it was “just what she thought: the corpses of Mr. Croom’s paramours”, and this indicates that she knew all along. This adds to the irony of the missing women ads because Mrs. Croom never reported the location of the missing women. Indeed, in “The Cranes” irony is seen in the couple’s self comparison to whooping cranes. As previously mentioned, the couple talks about how cranes “mate for life and live a long time” (Meinke, 630). The couple’s suicide decision contradicts their comparison to whooping cranes. Ironically, the couple compares themselves to birds that live and mate together for along time, but they are about to end

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