Last bridge burned | Analytical essay

The story “Last bridge burned (2018)” by Ron Rash depicts Carlyle, who is closing up his shop, when a woman knocks on the locked glass door.

Carlyle takes his .38 from behind the counter, the woman is barefoot and bleeding, she knocks again. Carlyle points at the closed sign and goes back to cleaning, afterward he glances at the door again where the woman still is.

Do you sometimes let your past actions affect what you do in the present? Do you regret those actions later? Because that is what nearly happened to Carlyle in the short story “last bridge burned (2018)” by Ron Rash.

The story consists solely of two characters: Carlyle and a woman. The main character is Carlyle whose perspective the story follows. Carlyle is a middle-aged man of “almost sixty” (l.67), he runs a gas station close to a highway and has had a troubled past.

It seems he had trouble with alcoholism (ll. 68-69) and he is not completely over it (l. 92) additionally he “had lost three jobs and two wives” (l. 8).

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