The Automobile in The Great Gatsby
There are many different themes, images, and symbols in Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby that render great importance to the development of the story. One particular image and symbol seen throughout Fitzgerald’s novel that acts as a major contributor to the plot is the automobile. The image of the automobile can be seen in relation with any of the characters in the novel who involve themselves in with driving an automobile or even simply talking about an automobile. Two characters in the novel that Fitzgerald uses to portray the images and symbols of the automobile are Tom Buchannan and Jay Gatsby. These two automobile owners are created into the strongest conductors of Fitzgerald’s imagery and symbolism throughout the novel.
The automobile can be seen as representing a few different types of images and symbols. A possible symbol of the automobile may stand for the respective automobile owner’s status in society. Almost all automobiles in the nineteen-twenties were black and just about as plain as could be. These black automobiles were owned by all those who could just barely afford an automobile, to those who were average, middle class people, to the extremely wealthy who could easily afford three or four automobiles. What makes this piece of history so important is the fact that Fitzgerald gives both Tom and Gatsby brightly colored automobiles. The personalities of these two characters effortlessly magnifies the showiness and in Gatsby’s case, gaudiness. Gatsby’s absolutely obnoxious Rolls Royce is “a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns.” No one in the nineteen-twenties had such an untasteful looking automobile that Gatsby. One obvious and straightforward possible explanation for Gatsby’s hideous automobile is that he wants to show...
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