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The Hitchhiker

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Alon Fisch

on 15 December 2015

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Transcript of The Hitchhiker

Author
Roald Dahl was a british author who was born in 1916, in Cardiff, Wales, and died in 1990 in Oxford, England. Over the course of his life, Dahl published a total of 19 children's books, and also wrote a number of short stories. In total, Dahl sold over 200 million copies of his books worldwide. Before his writing career started, Dahl had other jobs around the world, which included taking a job as a fighter pilot during World War II.
Context

In Roald Dahl's short story, The Hitchhiker, the main character is an author, just like Dahl. In the story, the character is outsmarted multiple times by someone who may be considered less intelligent. Since Dahl was already successful at the time he wrote the story, one could assume he was referring to his own insecurities about his intelligence.
Explanation of Genre
Although better known for children's books, The Hitchhiker is a fictional short story more directed at an older audience. The Hitchhiker was published in a book alongside other short stories, called The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.
Plot
The story starts with the main character/ narrator driving his car towards London. He stops on the side of the road to pickup a man who requests to be dropped off at the horse races in Epsom, London. The narrator engages in conversation with the Hitchhiker, finding out that he works in a "skilled trade". The Hitchhiker asks about the top speed of "this little job" to which the driver answers 129 mph. The Hitchhiker asks him to prove it,which leads to the driver speeding and later being pulled over by a cop. The cop gathers information from the two men, which is when we learn the name of the hitchhiker, Michael Fish. The cop leaves after threatening the men to a hefty fine. As the narrator is repenting his actions, Mr. Fish points out that he doesn't need to worry because he took the book in which the officer wrote all the information. We find out that Michael Fish is a fingersmith, or pick-pocket. The men stop at the side of the road and light a fire with the officer's papers.
Characters
The characters in the story are the un-named main character,Michael Fish the Hitchhiker, and the police officer.
Setting
The story takes place on the outskirts of London in the BMW 3.3 LI of the main character
The Hitchhiker

Theme
Point Of View
Mood of Story
Literary Techniques :
Conflict
Personification
Imagery
Foreshadowing
Similes
Motifs
Metaphors
A Simile is a figure of speech that compares two things that are not similar, usually starting with "as" or "like”.

Examples from The Hitchhiker

These fingers of mine," he said, holding up both hands high in front of him, "are quicker and cleverer than the fingers of the best piano player in the world!"

This is a simile because the hitchhiker is comparing his hands to the hands of a piano player.

They looked more like the fingers of a brain surgeon or a watchmaker.

This is a simile because the driver is comparing the hitchhiker’s hands to a surgeon or a watchmaker.

The point of view of The Hitchhiker:
• The point of view of the hitchhiker is 1st person.
• 1st person narration is when they use the words “I," “Me,” “Mine” or “he”.
• This point of view puts the reader of the story in the head of the main character or author.
• In this short story you are put into the shoes of the narrator.
• You know what the narrator is thinking but not what the hitchhiker is thinking which builds up suspense in the reader.

The mood of this story is comedic, and ironic. It is comedic because the narrator got off the hook after all and the hitchhiker also was pushing the narrator to go the maximum speed of the car and he was caught. It was Ironic when the police officer was victim of a crime when the hitchhiker stole his personal possession.
Imagery is shown in this novella at the beginning of the book, “I had a new car. It was an exciting toy, a big BMW 3.3 Li, which means 3.3 litre, long wheelbase, and fuel injection. It had a top speed of 129 mph and terrific acceleration. The body was pale blue. The seats inside were darker blue and they were made of leather, genuine soft leather of the finest quality. The windows were electrically operated and so was the sunroof. The radio aerial popped up when I switched on the radio, and disappeared when I switched it off. The powerful engine growled and grunted impatiently at slow speeds, but at sixty miles an hour the growling stopped and the motor began to purr with pleasure.” This very long example is written at the beginning of the book when the narrator describes this brand new BMW. Showing how rich this guy is and how well he is established in his job.
Personification is shown in the quote, “… With no more than a couple of fingers resting lightly on the wheel to keep her steady.” When he states this wrote he puts human traits on an inanimate object.
Foreshadowing is used in the novella The Hitchhiker in the beginning when the narrator gives a discretion about the hitchhiker and describes him as, “…His little ratty face.” Everyone knows that rats are good pick picketers and they are notorious for stealing thing without the person knowing. The Hitchhiker later stole a belt and watch form the narrator and a notebook from the police officer with all their information. He is also employed as a finger smith or a pickpocketer.
A metaphore is a word or phrase that is used to make a comparison between two people or things.

Examples from The Hitchhiker

“The big car leaped forward as though she'd been stung.”

This is a metaphor because it compared the car’s sudden movement to being stung an insect.


A motif is a theme or main idea of a book.

A motif in the HItchhiker is that a person shouldn’t judge someone by how they look. The hitchhiker was described as looking like a rat but he was skilled and was able to help out the narrator with the police.


The conflict is that the officer pulls Michael Fish and the driver over for speeding and threatens them to severe punishment.
"You won't be driving this fancy car of yours again for a very long time, not after we've finished with you."
The theme of the story is that what goes around comes around. The narrator and main character helped the Hitchhiker by giving him a ride and the Hitchhiker paid him back by saving him from law enforcement.
Full transcript