This story is a story within a story, about an accident that brings the main character to the realization that they are inevitably alone in life. I was drawn to this piece because it possessed a subtle sadness that was compelling to me. “You all get out of your cars. You are alone in yours, and there are three teenagers in theirs.” The main character throughout the piece is addressed as you. It was clearly this main character’s fault, and they handled the situation properly, offering to cover all damages, but this accident brings out an underlying struggle that the main character is dealing with; Loneliness. He/she was all-alone in their car, bringing them to realize how alone they are in life.
This story is written in an extremely simplistic manner. There is no fancy language, and the sentences are moderately short and matter-of-fact. Egger’s tone throughout successfully managed to make what would have been a boring, everyday situation meaningful, and gave it some depth. There is sadness in this story that the reader can sense, rather than being told. There is also some dialogue used in the story, but the thing I found most peculiar about this piece was that it was written from the second person point of view.
The strongest element of craft in this piece was Egger’s use of the second person point of view. If anything, I would say that it is the least used point of view out of the three, but that is what drew me to this piece. From the opening few sentences, the use of second person completely drew me in. “You all get out of your cars. You are alone in yours, and there are three teenagers in theirs.” This opening sentence of the piece forces the reader to feel relation to the story, with the use of the word your. It immediately made me put myself in the shoes of the protagonist. I felt that if I was just reading a story about a lonely man that gets into an accident, then I would finish the story feeling maybe a little sad but then forgetting about the whole thing hours later. In this case though, the use of the second person put me in the main character’s shoes and had me thinking long after the story was over about all of the times I had felt alone, and how such a little thing like a car accident is enough to make you realize that.
To define second person, I would say it mainly uses the pronouns you, your, and yours when addressing one, or more than one person. In this case Eggers makes it seem as if he is only talking about one character, but by using this point of view I think he is actually addressing the readers as well. This is an extremely crafty trick he is using.
“You have done him some psychic harm, and you jeopardized his health, and now you feel so close to him you could share his heart”. In this sentence Eggers draws the reader in. Egger’s almost makes you (the reader) feel guilty for the accident, even though you weren’t even there. Then with the very last sentence he hits home, “In a moment of clarity you finally understand why boxers, who want so badly to hurt each other, can rest their heads on the shoulders of their opponent, can lean against one another like tired lovers, so thankful for a moment of rest”. I loved that final sentence, I thought it was the most perfect way he could have ended this piece because after all of the guilt, and stress Egger’s makes you feel during the accident, he finally gives the reader that moment of rest, and clarity that boxers experience in the ring. Egger’s use of the second person point of view left The Accident replaying in my head for the rest of the day.