3-Amer. Lit. and Comp.
22 March 2011
In his novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts automobiles as a major symbol. The automobile is a possession that is owned by the characters in the novel. In The Great Gatsby, the automobile is a symbol of the power and violence of the upper social class.
In his novel, Fitzgerald depicts Owl Eyes being accused of driving an automobile into a ditch. Fitzgerald writes:
A man in a long duster had dismounted from the wreck and now stood in the middle of the road looking from the car to the tire and from the tire to the observers in a pleasant puzzled way.
“See!” he explained. “It ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, when the steering wheel comes off, Fitzgerald comments on the circumstances of the violence that follows the upper class. The violence is a product that simply follows a person with being in the upper class. In certain instances, the upper class has no control over the violence that follows it.
In The Great Gatsby, Daisy hits Myrtle with Gatsby’s car. Fitzgerald writes:
“What happened – that’s what I want to know!”
“Auto hit her. Ins’antly killed.”…
“It was a yellow car,” he said. “Big yellow car. New.”
“See the accident?” asked the policeman.
“No, but the car passed me down the road, going faster’n forty. Going fifty, sixty.” (146-147)
In this passage, Gatsby is depicted as having a big yellow car. The color yellow is a symbol of intellect, faith, and goodness, but also cowardice, betrayal, and jealousy (“Dictionary of Symbolism”). When Daisy runs over Myrtle in the yellow car, the yellow car symbolically represents the upper class’ having power. Every action the upper class makes, being good or bad, has an impact on all people in America. Therefore, through Gatsby’s yellow car, the upper social class is depicted as having a power and an effect on all people.
The automobile leads to violence, as depicted when Daisy hits Myrtle in Gatsby’s car (147). Daisy hitting Myrtle is an obvious violent act, and Daisy does not stop to aid Myrtle; Daisy...