Notes on Emergency!

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Noteson Emergency!

Noteson Emergency

Writingstyle: Johnson writes the story in a first-person narrative voice,which allows him to take the reader inside the mind of someone onhallucinogenic drugs. “Jesus, there is a lot of blood in here,”he complained. To me, the floor was very clean. (Johnson, n.d.,p.351). The narrative takes a terse, unadorned style. Descriptionsare unemotionally precise, even when they concern the mentalconfusions of someone lost in a drug addiction.&nbsp

Detailsin the story line: Thestory line is about two friends, who are drug abusers. Johnsonreinforces this unromantic view of life and of drug addiction bygiving fine details of how drug addiction can abstract one from thereality.

Questionsabout intentions: Itis clear that the narrator intended to show that life is full ofmystery. Thestory line revolves around the randomly occurring events in one’slife that make one question whether life is factual or fictional.Johnsintends to show people that there is still hope to rediscover&nbsprealityand significance.

Interestingand confusing moments: Itis confusing that the man who walks into the hospital with a knifestuck in one eye cannot see through the other eye but the woundedone. “And you can see through this eye?” asked the nurse. I cansee, but cannot see the other one because…,” replied the man(Johnson, n.d., p.353).

Waysthe author grapples with the concept of death and dying: In thisnarrative, everything seems to be dying&nbspin life according toGeorgia, one of the characters. However, there seems to be new lifeoccurring after death. For instance, Johnson describes the deadrabbit and the baby bunnies. When asked whether he had killed asnake, Georgia replies “No, it is a rabbit with babies inside it,”(Johnson, n.d., p.355).

Setting:Accordingto the narrative, the setting of the story is in the summer. However,the dialogue between Georgia and the narrator takes us from summer towinter based on the analysis of the hallucinatory effect of the drug.

Symbolism:The dead rabbit and babies are used as a symbol to show that deathmight be the beginning of new life


Johnson,D. (n.d.). Emergency. In Heppner (Ed.), Theliterature of death and dying.The New Yorker

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