What Does Gatsby's Car Symbolize?

December 4, 2023

What does Gatsby's car symbolize?

The car is a symbol of wealth and luxury in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald uses it to develop Gatsby's character and to show his obsession with money and the American Dream. The car also serves as a reminder of how quickly things can fall apart.

In the 1920’s cars were a new form of transportation that allowed people to travel faster and farther than ever before. They were a symbol of wealth and status, as well as a sign of one’s desire for power and control. As such, they were a powerful tool in the battle of social classes during the roaring twenties.

When Gatsby drives to Nick’s house to pick him up for lunch, he is wearing a white suit and driving his yellow car. When he arrives, Nick admires the car’s color and size: “it was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there with triumphant hat-boxes and a labyrinth of wind-shields” (65).

It’s a posh and luxurious vehicle, which is an indicator of Gatsby’s lifestyle. The car symbolizes his status and his wealth.

Gatsby refuses to let Tom drive his car because it represents more than a vehicle for him. It is a symbol of his dream and hope that he can win Daisy back. This is the same reason why he refused to let her tag along on his party.

The car also plays a critical role in the story’s end when Myrtle is killed by it. Fitzgerald uses this scene to foreshadow that the party was a mistake and that bad events may follow.


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