The Red Chevy by Juli Bovard is an emotional piece that describes the author’s experience with sexual assault and is an example of a remembering event essay.
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In her essay, Bovard successfully conveys the feeling of fear and hopelessness experienced by the victims of rape. The essay starts very abruptly with a sentence that exudes the feeling of dread as if something awful is about to happen: “From the moment the man in the Chevy stopped to offer me a ride on that blistering September afternoon, I knew I was in trouble” (Bovard, 2006, para. 1). Although the author does not give the exact dates, she places events on a timeline by noting the time of the day and the month the traumatic event happened.
In other paragraphs, the author successfully applies this technique to highlight how long the recovery after the event was: “It was weeks before I could focus on everyday tasks” (Bovard, 2006, para. 6). This narrative strategy is typical of remembered event essays, and the author uses it in combination with temporal transitions to help the reader track the order of events and give the reader a sense of time.
The temporal transitions, used by Bovard, include “two hours later”, “within a week of my report”, and others. However, the most successful strategy, used by the author, are the vivid descriptions of places, details, and thoughts. Sensory images, as “terror so deep it paralyzed me”, make the reader feel the psychological pressure, experienced by the author.
The Red Chevy is an excellent example of a remembering essay that uses time, temporal transitions, and vivid images to describe the struggles the author had to go through on her way to recovery.
Bovard, J. (2006). The Red Chevy. In Stephen Reid (Ed.), The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers (pp. 150-153). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.