For the Love of Wealth, Power and Freedom
Cars are a symbol of power which has close ties with wealth. The American Dream was originally about finding happiness in the small things but by the 1920’s and 30’s the thirst for wealth tainted the American Dream causing many to believe that money would bring happiness. Through the desire to obtain wealth and “happiness” cars became significant. Cars were seen as a higher status and gave Americans a sense of freedom. Wealth, freedom, and power were the only things that the characters in The Great Gatsby cared about.
Rolls Royce made more than half aircraft engines used by the Allies in World War I. The Phantom I was the replacement for the Silver Ghost, presented in 1925 as "New Phantom". Rolls-Royce had a factory in Springfield, USA where at first the Silver Ghost, and then the Phantom I was built, too. The Phantom I was replaced by the Phantom II (Gruszczynski). Jay Gatsby possessed numerous of cars, one being the Rolls Royce Phantom I. “It was a rich cream color, bright and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns (Fitzgerald 64). Gatsby’s car was yellow instead of the standardized black which symbolized how engrossed he was with showing off his material wealth to impress Daisy. Yellow symbolizes corruption and and money in the novel, the color of the Death car. The Death car struck Myrtle, Tom’s mistress and killed her. This depicts irony because Myrtle believed the driver of the car was Tom. Tom was Myrtle’s ticket to the American Dream; ultimately the desire for her American Dream which is power and wealth killed her.
Tom Buchanan's car is also not like all the standardized black cars because he drives "a blue car, a coupe" which is a lot less showy than Gatsby's Rolls Royce (Fitzgerald 142). Tom desperately believed he could define himself with exterior belongings. Tom planned to sell...
Cited: Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby . New York: Charles Scribener 's Son , 1925. Print.
Gruszczynski. The History of Cars. 2003. Web. 22 April 2012.
Saposnik, Irving. The Passion and the Life: Technology as Pattern in the Great Gatsby. Gale Publishing Company , 1980. Print.
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