Encountering Strangeness In Auto Wreck Essay

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Karl Shapiro’s poem Auto Wreck describes an automobile accident by its materialistic surroundings. The bystander takes the reader through the scene of an unexpected collision, piecing together the sudden tragedy, persisting the reader to encounter strangeness. Shapiro uses stylistic features to highlight the strangeness the bystanders are experiencing during a traumatic accident. Shapiro is able to articulate the perplexity and emptiness the witnesses experience through stylistic features such as alliteration, imagery, similes and personification, revealing the participant’s feelings of turmoil. The impact strangeness has, as a result of the residual of the wreck, affects a larger audience than the injured party, as witnesses and the reader try to understand tragedy. The use of stylist features to describe the aftermath of the automobile accident, keeps the reader focused and allows the reader to relate personally to the subject of strangeness in the poem. The sound work at the beginning of the poem by using alliteration, immediately draws the audience in. “Its quick soft silver bell beating, beating, / and down the dark one ruby flare” (Shapiro 1-2). Alliteration is the repetition of consonants within the first syllable. It’s flowing words focuses the attention of the reader adding speed and intensity to the poem. Significant imagery is evident in the first stanza, with a description of an ambulance arriving on the scene of an automobile accident. The ambulance is described using words that personify giving life. “And down the dark one ruby flare / pulsing out red light like an artery” (Shapiro 2-3). This surreal comparison is relating the bright pulsing light of the ambulance to the pulsing of blood through an artery. Personification is illustrated by the utilization of words such as “beating”, “pulsing”, and “artery.” It gives the ambulance a

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