Bad Driving Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

The American Spirit is all about working your way up to the top. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the East Egg is the bane of the American spirit. East Egg is filled with people who were born into old money with grand mansions and sleek, premier cars. Americans despise privileged people who never had to struggle like the East Eggers, but why? What is so bad about people born into wealth? Fitzgerald explains why East Eggers are so horrible and even dangerous through his motif of bad driving. Fitzgerald’s often depicts East Eggers, like Jordan, Tom, and Daisy, as bad drivers with car crashes, he uses this motif to reveal how those born into wealth are made reckless by it and as a result run over the everyman.
Jordan’s, Tom’s and Daisy’s reckless driving and car crashes reflect the tendency of the rich to run over the poor. The motif of bad driving is most prevalently highlighted in Nick’s drive with Jordan, “We had curious conversation about driving a car. It started because she passed so close to some workmen that our fender flicked a button one one man’s coat. You’re a rotten driver, I protested. Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn’t to drive at all. Well other people are, she said lightly... They’ll keep out of my way, she insisted” (58). Fitzgerald is using
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He uses Gatsby’s tragic downfall to illustrate just how dangerous the wealthy’s recklessness can be. Through Nick and Jordan’s conversation Fitzgerald states his thoughts on the matter quite strongly: “Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn’t to drive at all” (58). Fitzgerald basically states those who reckless go through life should not live. Through Nick’s departure from New York, Fitzgerald sending the message to Americans everywhere to stay away from those who are born into wealth or they will run right over

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