Study Guide

Hush, Hush Cars

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Unless you live in a big city where public transportation is the norm, cars—who has them and what kind they are—usually feature heavily in teenage life. In Hush, Hush, the cars mentioned are Nora's old Fiat, Vee's 1995 purple Dodge Neon, and Patch's motorcycle and black Jeep Commander.

We talk a bit about Nora's old Fiat in the "Characters" section. As we point out there, the clunker ties into her "every girl" quality. She doesn't drive a flashy new car, but instead she has second-hand one that her parents probably bought for her or passed on to her at some point. Even though she has a car, she doesn't drive it a lot. Instead we see her more behind the wheel of Vee's purple Neon, a perfect color for Vee's flashy personality, than we do on the "cracked white leather seats" (2.36) of her own Fiat. And when Nora goes to Portland to investigate Kjirsten's murder, she takes the bus.

So why is Nora bumming so many rides? Is that a logistical move to put her in more social situations for character development and more vulnerable positions for conflict development? Is it part of the damsel-in-distress thing she has going on at some points (jump over to her page in the "Character" section for our discussion on that)? What's your theory about her car situation?

Patch's rides are also perfect representations of his character. Like a lot of his clothes, Patch's jeep is black. Like his vibe, his motorcycle is dangerous and thrilling. The motorcycle is also the ideal vehicle for him to force Nora into close physical contact with him, and the Jeep, which he wins from a bet, is a Commander model, which reflects the dominant aspects of his identity (again we'll guide you to the "Characters" section, but this time swing by Patch's page).

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