Explication on Crossroads Blues

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A Fever Dream In the short story, “Crossroads Blues,” William Gay uses a very unique opening scene to grab the reader’s attention. Gay keeps the reader on edge throughout the beginning of the story with this confusing question: Is Karas dreaming, or is this all real? “Dreaming” seems to play a vital and interesting role in this story. In Crossroads Blues, William gay seems to continually bring up “dreaming.” “In a fever dream that was almost but not quite nightmare Karas asked the Storm Princess those questions…” (148). These lines lead the reader to believe Karas is dreaming of talking to his wife that fled him, but is it reality? What role does “dreaming” play in this story? It seems as though Gay is putting emphasis on “dreaming” to put through to the reader that Karas is somewhat not able to feel fully alive without his wife. “He drank from the Ron Rico bottle and lowered it and sat clasping it loosely between his thighs” (149). Apparently, Karas has developed a drinking problem since his wife left him. Perhaps, being drunk causes Karas to feel as if he is dreaming. “Her sleep had always been provisional, what there was of it peopled by demons and faceless shapes and, and she told him once, by the murders of children” (152). Again, William Gay brings up dreaming. The reader can understand from those lines that Karas’s wife has always had bad dreams. The reader can gather from the information Gay provides, that dreaming plays an important role in the story because Karas obviously does not want to be sober and feel the pain of his wife leaving him. He drinks to feel like he is only dreaming, and reality does not
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