Hawley’s approach is complicated because he considers directive language, which lets us know what things are and how we are to use them, mediated through film and imagery. Among diagrammatic renderings, a German read of the manual, and the car itself, Passenger is an environment of descriptive hyperbole. Theorist Roland Barthes noted that when we encounter an object, a narrative description arrives with it. The description is not mimetic; it carries the notions of the writer (or artist), so we translate an object’s meaning through his or her lens. Reality, for Barthes, is an effect, a result of language that constructs meaning. Although surrounded with ephemera that should let us know what Passenger’s car is, Hawley leaves direct reference to the car absent.