Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan

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Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan states for us in quite simple terms, that “A reliable narrator is one whose rendering of the story and commentary on it the reader is supposed to take as an authoritative account of the fictional truth.” In other words, a reliable narrator is a person who tells us a story in such a manner that the audience believes in the events that take place. “Car Crash While Hitchhiking” is the first story in Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson. In this story, the drug-addicted hitchhiking narrator is picked up by a Cherokee filled with bourbon, a married salesperson (who is on his way to meet his girlfriend), and a college student that offers him hash, before dropping him off at the city limits. Once there he falls into drunken-high sleep in a puddle of water when he is then picked up by a nice family in a Oldsmobile. While sleep inside the family’s car, it is struck by another car who's driver has apparently fallen asleep at the wheel. The story ends several years later with the narrator looking back, apparently in detox, as he recounts his years of drug abuse, furthering showing his disconnect from reality. The narrator is unreliable because of his disconnect from reality through his drug use and unnamed mental illness. Although some of the things…show more content…
He states, “...I rose up sopping wet from sleeping under the pouring rain, and something less than conscious, thanks to the first three people I named---the salesman and the Indian and the student---all of whom had give me drugs”. He says that he is something less than conscious meaning he almost has no clue where he really is. The combination of drugs and alcohol make his story almost believable but still gives the feel of a fantasy. Not to mention that he is also on speed. This narration could very well be a continuation of his dream or maybe its just the truth stretched to sound

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