55 Miles To The Gas Pump Summary

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55 Miles to the Gas Pump, a short story written by Annie Proulx in 1999, describes the life of a married couple in Wyoming, who live seemingly different lives. The story explores the notion that isolation can cause people to become mad; their desire to be with other people grows and eventually, this desire leads to chaos. The story begins with a description of Rancher Croom, the husband, and shifts characters to Mrs. Croom, who ventures on to the attic in her home to find recognizable dead bodies and the corresponding missing flyers next to them; she knows that her husband is the killer of these people. Proulx shows the readers how people will do anything to have some sort of human contact, especially since Rancher Croom does not have a strong…show more content…
The story is introduced by giving a description of Rancher Croom, including him having handmade boots and being a cattleman and a “quick-foot dancer”. Within this illustration of the character, Proulx also includes, “…Rancher Croom at night galloping drunk … turning off at a place he knows to arrive at a canyon brink where he dismounts and looks down on tumbled rock…” Rancher Croom commits suicide. This quotation is immediately included because Proulx does not allow any chance to show connection between the couple and shows how Rancher Croom had no doubt in his decision to end his life. For someone to commit suicide, they must be confident in their choice to terminate all contact with the world. Clearly, Rancher Croom did not see a reason to continue his detached marriage, and instead of trying to improve it, he wanted to end it. This type of marriage is simply horrifying and proves that without love, it is a tragedy. Also, Proulx makes the comparison, “[Rancher Croom] rises again to the top of the cliff like a cork in a bucket milk”. This comparison effectively describes the abrupt landing of Rancher Croom once his body hits the dirt. The quotation creates an image of the body splattering when it hits the ground. The descriptive language creates comprehensive sensory appeal and, therefore, engages the readers, so that they feel
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