We have decided to create the most comprehensive English Summary that will help students with learning and understanding.
The Hack Driver Summary in English by Sinclair Lewis
The Hack Driver by Sinclair Lewis About the Author
|Author Name||Harry Sinclair Lewis|
|Born||7 February 1885, Sauk Centre, Minnesota, United States|
|Died||10 January 1951, Rome, Italy|
|Movies||Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth, Ann Vickers|
|Awards||Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Nobel Prize in Literature|
The Hack Driver Summary in English
The narrator in this story is a junior assistant clerk in a law firm. His job was to serve summons. He hated this work. He thought of fleeing to his own town where he could be a lawyer straightaway. Once he was sent to New Mullion — a town forty miles away to serve summons on a man called Oliver Lutkins who was a witness in a lawsuit.
When he reached New Mullion, a delivery man agreed to help him in finding out Lutkins for two dollars an hour. He told him that it was difficult to locate Lutkins. However, he said that he knew most of the places where Lutkins might be. This man carried him in his hack and kept him good company by chatting up with him. He told him that Lutkins never parted with his money. He still owed him 50 cents on a poker game. The hack driver managed to elicit from the narrator the purpose for which he had come, i.e. to serve the summons on Lutkins and that Lutkins refused to be a witness.
Wherever the driver took the narrator, he told him to keep out of sight lest Lutkins should recognise him and slip away. The hack driver took the narrator to many places, but wherever he took him, he went in first. The narrator waited for him outside. The driver took him to Fritz’s where Lutkins played poker. Then they went to the barber’s shop and the poolroom. They missed him everywhere.
It was past afternoon when the narrator felt hungry. He was willing to buy the driver lunch. Bill, the driver, got the lunch prepared by his wife who charged him half a dollar for it. They had lunch at the Wade’s hills.
Finally, the hack driver drove the narrator into a poor farmyard. This belonged to Lutkins’ mother. The driver on entering, told Lutkins’ mother that the narrator had come from the court and wanted to find her son. The mother seized an iron rod and marched on them. She shouted that she would burn them if they searched Lutkins. The narrator got frightened. However, they searched the house, the stable, the barn, but failed to find Lutkins anywhere. The narrator had to return to the city. Though he did not succeed in locating Lutkins, he enjoyed the day thoroughly with the hack driver.
Next day the case came up in the court. He was unable to produce Lutkins in the court. He was ordered to go back to New Mullion and with him was sent a man who had worked with Lutkins. The narrator felt very humiliated and shocked to find that the hack driver himself was the man they wanted, i.e. Oliver Lutkins. Lutkins and his mother laughed at the narrator heartily. The narrator served the summons on Lutkins but not without feeling humiliated and fooled.
The Hack Driver Summary Questions and Answers
Lutkins was really ‘a hard fellow to catch’. How?
Lutkins was really a hard fellow to catch. He was a crook. He impressed the narrator by his open friendly and affectionate nature. He disguised himself many times. He had a good relationship with all in his village. So, it was difficult to catch him.
How does Lutkins befool the lawyer?
Oliver Lutkins was the hack driver. He impressed the narrator by his simplicity and pleasant appearance. He introduced himself as Bill. The hack driver made a complete fool of the narrator by taking him to all the places where he could find Lutkins but every time missed him by a fraction of minutes. He had a good understanding with his town folks who helped him in befooling the lawyer.
How did the hack driver sketch the character of Lutkins?
The hack driver called Lutkins “a good for nothing fellow”. He told that Lutkins did not stick to any single place. The hack driver tried to portray Lutkins as a shrewd and shoddy person. He told the narrator that Lutkins was fond of playing poker. He borrowed money from many people. He was a perfect duper. He was known for taking people for a ride.
What attitude did the lawyer have for country life? How did his experience at New Mullion change it?
The lawyer hated city life as he found city people cunning and at times very aggressive. He assumed country life to be sweet and simple but his visit to New Mullion completely changed his attitude. He was disappointed with sights at the countryside and above all, he was duped by Lutkins who changed his assumption that country life was simpler than the city life.
What does the narrator describe as ‘a pretty disrespectful treatment’?
The hack driver took the narrator to the farmyard of his mother. He introduced the young lawyer to Lutkins’ mother as a young man representing the court in the city. They followed her to the kitchen. But they ran for cover as she brought out a hot iron rod from the kitchen to shove them away. The lawyer called it ‘a pretty disrespectful treatment’.
What did the hack driver tell the narrator about Lutkins’ mother?
The hack driver told the narrator that Lutkins’ mother was a real terror. She was about nine feet tall and four feet thick and quick as a cat. She could also put people down by talking. It was proved when on meeting the narrator, she did not show respect for him. She chased him with a hot iron ‘ rod.
Describe the young lawyer’s first encounter with the hack driver.
When the young lawyer reached New Mullion to serve summons on Oliver Lutkins, he came across a man of forty who was red-faced and cheerful. He introduced himself as Bill, the hack driver. The narrator trusted him and told him about his purpose to visit the place.
Who was the hack driver? What really hurt the narrator’s feelings?
The hack driver himself was Oliver Lutkins. He was not Bill Magnuson as he had told the narrator. He had befooled the narrator.
The narrator’s feelings were hurt when Lutkins and his mother both laughed at him as though he were a boy of seven.
Which were the places where the narrator and hack driver went to search for Lutkins? How was he missed everywhere?
The hack driver took the narrator to many places in New Mullion to locate Lutkins. Some of them were Fritz’s place, Gustaff’s barber shop, Gray’s barber shop, poolroom and his mother’s farmyard. He was missed everywhere by five minutes or so.
How was the hack driver recognised?
The lawyer was ordered to go back to New Mullion to fetch Lutkins with a man who had worked with Lutkins. He saw Bill the hack driver with Lutkin’s mother talking and laughing at the platform. His escort told him that Bill was Lutkins himself.