Cars In The Great Gatsby

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In the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a consistent motif is the presence of cars. Fitzgerald uses a numerous amount of examples of cars to comment on what he believes the car culture to be in the 1920s. Its very clear that Fitzgerald believes that the car culture of the time period assimilates to a very reckless behavior. For example, when Nick and Jordan are driving together, he makes a comment about her bad driving and she replies “They’ll keep out of my way, it takes two to make an accident” (Fitzgerald 64). By saying this Jordan shows that she has no knowledge of the gravity of the consequence of an accident if it were too actually occur. She also relied on others to account for her reckless behavior which, being in a …show more content…
The reckless behavior found in car culture could also be found in another aspect of 1920s American lifestyle. The car culture in the United States of America in the 1920s is representative of the economy at that time. The lack of government regulation in the economy allowed for reckless behavior. Since the dawn of independence the US has internally argued government intervention. When looking back on the time period, it is clear that there should have been more in both the economy and the car culture. For instance, in “The Great Gatsby,” Gatsby was driving at a dangerous speed and was pulled over. But, Gatsby then showed the policeman a card and in agreement the cop said “Right you are, know you next time, Mr. Gatsby. Excuse ME!” (Fitzgerald 74). In this instance, recklessness is pardoned, and not only does doing that allow for more recklessness to continue, it also allows the potential consequence to grow. For the economy in the 1920s, government regulation came far too late. FDR’s new deal program came after the great depression and exposed what the government should have always been doing. In the primary source “The …show more content…
In the 1920s people were very unaware of what they were actually doing in terms of hurting the economy. This same lack of awareness was shown in the car culture through “The Great Gatsby” when Owl Eyes and his friend attempted to leave one of Gatsby’s parties in an automobile. The driver had got into an accident as “Half a dozen fingers pointed at the amputated wheel - he stared at it for a moment and then looked upward as though he suspected that it had dropped from the sky” (Fitzgerald 60). Owl Eyes and his friend were completely oblivious to what their actions resulted in as they immediately assumed that “the amputated wheel” was not their fault and it had “dropped from the sky.” The reckless action in this case was getting into a car while intoxicated, and the driver was so unaware of the ramifications that he didn’t notice it after the consequence occurred. The driver inquired “Did we run outta gas?” showing that he had no idea he had crashed while he was in the car (59). The absurd beliefs of the driver actually relate well to the common belief that people had in the economy at the time. In the primary source “Prosperity and Crash,” Edward Earle displayed the flawed views of the economy and how at the time it was believed that “The soundest science is business. All investigation is reduced to

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