Joy Ride Essay

1103 Words Oct 15th, 2012 5 Pages
Michelle Cronin
Professor Radford
English 101
8 October 2012
Begging for an Escape “Joy Ride” is a short story written by Richard Russo. It features a boy, John Dern, and his mother, who both long for an escape from their lives at the time. This story follows the theme that one key aspect the human condition is the search for an escape. At some point in life, most humans wish to escape their past and present state of living. There may be many motivating factors behind this. However, most attempt to escape for one of three main reasons. These include using an escape as a means of finding freedom, an escape to help another person, or just as a temporary move to solve a problem. In this story, John and his mother have all three reasons
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Just being with her husband leaves her with all of these painful thoughts and memories every single day. It’s the little problems that John’s mother is trying so hard to escape. However, her motivation for escape also has to do with John. He needs this escape as much as his mother. John was growing up and falling in with the wrong crowd, making very bad decisions. His “friends” talk of a trip they took to Old Orchard Beach in Maine. When thinking about this, John decides that he too needs to get out of Camden. “This is exactly the kind of adventure I feared and longed for” (78). In this quote, John is conveying his need for escape. His mother sees how necessary an escape is and how desperately John needs a new outlook on life. And this is exactly what his mother intends to give him. As they go on their journey, both John and his mother experience a little taste of the freedom they have hungered for. Years later when discussing the trip, his mother explains the real reason behind the joy ride. “I’ll tell you what I do remember. I remember that the reason for that trip was you. What I remember was the vicious little monster you were becoming” (110). In this quote, John’s mother is revealing her true motive behind their escape. She wanted to give him an experience that would allow him to change the way he was behaving before it became too late. Her son was

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