Waiting For The Evening News Essays

Words: 1063
Pages: 5

Jordan Roberson
Ms. Pichon
ENGL 2110.03N
14 October 2013
Innocence or Ignorance Tim Gautreaux introduces Jesse McNeil, the main character, as a drunk running a locomotive. Although Jesse is intoxicated, he was “charging up the main line at fifty with the chemical train, rattling through the hot Louisiana night like a thunderstorm” (Gautreaux 327). Gautreaux tells us that “he had roared through it a thousand times with a hundred cars of propane and vinyl chloride”, “it” being the same old route he was used to (Gautreaux 328). Even though Jesse is no rookie when it comes to carrying a dangerous load, he is still riding on a rolling bomb. The author tells the reader “he reached for the whistle lever in the dark cab and missed it,
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After lying to the priest about who he was, he finally reached his destination. Jesse decides to check into a motel and get some sleep. But the next morning he turns on the news and sees “a helicopter view of Satan’s living room, fifty tank cars crashed together and burning” (Gautreaux 321). He soon hears his name “fly out of the television” and finds out there is a warrant out for his arrest (Gautreaux 322). After enough of hearing how bad of a person he is, he turns off the TV and takes a stroll on the town. He returns back to his room after getting a haircut and a full stomach. This time he tries the national news and is surprised when he sees Lurleen, his wife, “telling a reporter, ‘I don’t know where he run off to leaving a blowed-up train behind like that’” (Gautreaux 335). After finally having enough of the news he hops on a bus and gets off at a cathedral. Jesse reluctantly sees the priest sitting on a bench nearby reading the paper. He sees his face on the front page and says, “Maybe the newspeople are blowing this thing up too much. You know, the more they yak about it the worse it gets” (Gautreaux 338). This tells us that Jesse believes if no one finds out, everything would be ok. But the priest replies with a very wise quote, “Secrecy is not innocence” (Gautreaux 338). After some deliberation in Jesse’s mind, he decides to end it all by telling the