La Dolce Vita in The Southern Thruway by Cortazar

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While some people get jittery in the midst of gnarly predicament, others live by the maxim of YOLO. “The Southern Thruway” by Cortazar sets forth the taste of ‘la dolce vita.’ In a severe traffic jam that lasted days, the responses of the victims are characterized by fun, friendship, and feasting, which are unexpected forms of response during the emergency.  Despite being strangers at the beginning, the victims of the traffic jam soon became friends and derived pleasure from the predicament. Therefore, Cortazar depicts ‘la dolce vita’ by the development of the short-term pleasure-based relationship, cacophonous music, and singing during dire and days enduring traffic jam.

The pleasure that later encompasses the behaviors of all the victims originates from a single family, who seems content with the traffic jam instead of showing impatience like others. The family derived fun from playing with their little girl while eating cheese, like the little boys playing with toys and loud outbursts in another car (Cortazar, 4). In this case, Cortazar begins the narrative by introducing the audiences’ unexpected responses, which sets the attitude for fun-filled experience during a predicament. Furthermore, the impatience and worries of other drivers and passengers influence the desire to engage in time-passing activities to lower the adverse effects such as anxiety. The narrator left his car and toured the lanes hoping to find any response to the traffic jam. Instead, he met other drivers undergoing astonishment, anxiety, and time-consciousness, but, on the contrary, he is tempted to enjoy the moment like the happy family and jovial little boys (Cortazar, 7).

The combination of anxiety and the desire to pass the time soon derived the victims into listening to the radio and singing along full blast singing and gyrations. In this case, Cortazar depicts the high possibility of humans to engage in pleasurable activities during predicaments collectively; this is unusual during emergencies where victims rush to seek help and overcome the challenges. As the victims proceeded with different forms of pleasure, they soon begin to develop short-term relationships. At around midnight, the nuns started sharing sandwiches with others they presumed hungry (Cortazar, 9).  The discordant music, singing, and sharing food indicated the positivity and pleasure that the victims used to overcome the fears and dangers of traffic jam and time-consciousness. Furthermore, the victims slept on their inflatable beds and lowered car seats while others climbed on top of their vehicles as they sang and shouted for the moment (Cortazar, 10). Therefore, the entire predicament is characterized by a ‘la dolce vita’ experience where the victims engage in fun, develop relationships, share foodstuffs, playing dice, and celebrating the weather.

In conclusion, Cortazar depicts ‘la dolce vita’ by the development of short-term pleasure-based relationships, cacophonous music, and singing during dire and days enduring traffic jam. The narrative illustrates unusual behavior whereby the victims of unfavorable occurrence, resort to listening to loud music, singing, gyrations, developing relationships, playing, sharing food, and storytelling. Unlike the expected rush for solutions to the predicament, the traffic jam stimulates the victims to express their innermost pleasure while living by the maxim of ‘You Only Live Once.’ The pleasurable moments increase when the victims attempt to select leadership and women to monitor the distribution of foods and fun.

Works Cited

Cortazar, Julio. "The Southern Thruway." Word Press, n.d., Accessed 27 Sep. 2018.

August 21, 2023

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