Shapiro’s “Auto Wreck”Philosophers have pondered the meaning of life and death since thebeginning of time. There are many hypotheses. From reincarnation toValhalla — then on to heaven. There have been many proposed solutions. Yet no one fully understands dea th.
In Shapiro’s poem “Auto Wreck,” heillustrates the irrationality of life for it can be taken away at any giventime for no rational reason. Shapiro uses metaphors to emphasize the fantasy-like and wildsetting of the auto wreck. The following is an excerpt taken from “AutoWreck”:”And down the dark one ruby flarePulsing out red light like an artery. “This statement contrasts the red light emitted from an ambulance to theblood of an artery. The idea that a light is spurted out like blood isabstract and bizarre.Order now
In addition to that metaphor, Shapiro writes:”One hangs lanterns on the wrecks that clingEmptying husks of locusts, to iron poles. “This rhythmical sentence paints a picture of locusts, grass hopper likecreatures, clinging to a luscious green jungle of grass. Yet symbolicallythis jungle is the twisted, black, and crisp auto wreck. This depiction ofthe auto wreck is extravag ant and almost unreal.
Using metaphors, Shapiroportrays the fantasy-like auto wreck in which wildness is indispensable. In addition to Shapiro’s use of metaphorical phrases, he emphasizesthe lack of comprehension of the on-lookers as a result of death’sinconsistency with logic. Shapiro directly tells the reader, “We arederanged. ” The word “we” symbolizes u s, as a whole institution or betteryet — society.
He goes on further to say, “Our throats were tight astourniquets. ” By this he means that the on-lookers were stopped, almostspeechless, as they gazed upon the wreckage contemplating the reason behind death. Finally, Shapiro writes:”We speak through sickly smiles and warnWith the stubborn saw of common sense. “What the writer is getting through is that the on-lookers attempted torationalize the accident with their common sense. But their “common sense,”or their logical reasoning ability, was being sawed upon as they continuedto puzzle over death.
Once again, the old age question of “What is themeaning of death?” was tackled at the scene of the auto wreck. Finally, Shapiro asks rhetorical questions which could never beanswered by logical means. One question which Shapiro asks is “Who shalldie next?” This question could never be answered for death strikeswithout cause but randomness. The second question Shapiro asks is “Who isinnocent?” No one knows who is innocent. The driver might have beensuicidal.
Maybe he might not have. Who knows, for this is death that isbeing dealt with. These hard questions could not be reasoned withdeductively. Only an irrational source such as an all-supreme andomniscient being could answer these questions. In death, there exists strictly irrational causes for the loss oflife. Death is an eccentric jungle whose twisted, convoluted, andentangled vines represent the causes of death which can not be mapped outmathematically, but can be mapped o ut by the deranged explorer or solecreator of that jungle, both of whom are irrational persons in themselves.