‘The Highway’ is an imaginary picture of what would happen in case of a nuclear war. The people of the developed world have been under a constant fear of a nuclear war hovering over them. But the people of the less developed countries living mostly in villages and ignorant of the matter were free from the fear to a very great extent. The story drew a picture of the contrasting attitudes. Hernando and his wife were villagers of Mexico. The highway to U.S.A passed in front of their house to the north. The nuclear war had started and the people of the cities of the U.S.A were fleeing from their cities to safer places far from their cities. The story describes such a day and Hernando’s experience of a day. Hernando was waiting for the rain to stop and to begin his ploughing. He noticed that there were no cars passing by for about an hour. It was unusual because cars used to pass by quite frequently. His wife also suspected that something was wrong somewhere. Hernando moved towards the highway and stood on it. Suddenly hundreds of cars came rushing at great speed and passed by. He noticed some unusual look in the faces of the people who were in the cars. He could not enquire, as they passed away very fast. All the cars passed away and the road was empty. It was like a funeral procession.
Then there came a ford car with four young girls in it. A young man of about twenty one was driving. The girls covered their heads with newspapers to protect themselves from the rain. The young man asked for some water as the girls were in great distress. Hernando felt pity and ran to get some water. He took some water in the hub lid and poured it into the radiator. A girl thanked him heartily and said it meant a lot to them. Hernando asked the young man what had happened and why so many cars went one way to the north. The very question itself moved the girls and they began to cry. When Hernando went to the side of the car, the young man gave him a peso but Hernando refused to take any money. The young man told him that the atom war had started and the end of the world had come.
Hernando stood there bewildered as the car passed away. No cars came for quite a log time. He felt that the road might not move and cars might not pass away for a long time. The rain stopped and the sun shone. The river flowed gently. Hernando’s wife asked him what had happened. Hernando replied that it was nothing. They began to plough their field by the river. Hernando wandered as to why they said that the end of the world had come and what they meant by the world. He was possibly thinking that their world, the developed world of the cities, did not mean the whole world. Hernando and the people like him had their own world, which was not going to end.