Rock Springs Questions and Answers
by Richard Ford

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In "Rock Springs," what do you think would happen to the narrator in the future?

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I think the overwhelming message that this text communicates is a somewhat depressing one. Ford seems to try to show to his readers a rather grim and despairing view of humanity. Success and lack of success, in his imagination, is not something we have much control over. Note how the text suggests that it is actually only a result of "how many troubles... you had faced in a lifetime." Ford presents us with a world in which Earl, as a human being who is meant to stand for all humanity, faces a myriad of problems that lie ahead of him just around the corner. How many of those problems we actually face seems largely down to nothing more than luck or blind chance.

Therefore, when we think of Earl and the kind of future he might face as a character, the future does not look bright and welcoming for him. I personally imagine him to continually be on the run from the various crimes that he has committed in the past that always seem to catch up with him. I also think he will be placed in situations where he feels forced to commit more crimes as a way of getting ahead in the world, and as a result will end up in more and more trouble until his past lands him in trouble and he ends up in jail.

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