Clouds

The cloudless, sunless sky is mentioned several times after the family has the car accident, and most notably by The Misfit shortly after we meet him (89). This peculiar sky is also mentioned by the narrator after the grandmother has been shot (“her face smiling up at the cloudless sky” [137]). If there’s no sun and no clouds, we would expect it to be night. But the narrator never tells us it’s night or dark, and the grandmother remarks, right after The Misfit mentions the sky, that it’s a “beautiful day” (90). Is it just after sunset?

This sky is also an ambiguous image, in that it has two sides. On the one hand, there’s something barren and austere about the cloudless, sunless sky because it’s empty. You might see this emptiness as a reflection of the family’s extreme situation at the end of the story: they’re dying in the middle of nowhere, without anyone to