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The Automobile: A False Sense Of Freedom

2503 words - 10 pages

From the promises of the automobile to the model-T no one could predict how the car would alter the world we live in. The dependency on the automobile is quickly shifting from not only an American problem, but a global one. As Rudi Volti describes the begging’s of the Automobile, we also see America’s curiosity in the new technology and how it could change our world for the better, (2006). Volti describes how the automobile wasn’t an American invention, but quickly became the American ideal; no one has developed and changed the automobile as much as America, (2006). From the begging the automobile promised freedom that we had never experienced before, it has greatly altered our landscape and our culture. Amy Best describes the Latino youth culture in San Jose, “For them, the car is a central means by which they participate in cultural and economic life, navigating their ways around today’s consumer culture”, (2006). It’s easy to see how this can happen to the youth of San Jose, when it’s something that affects every American. The automobile promises freedom, but at a cost. While that cost varies by person, place and time; there is no one that goes un-touched by the consequences of an auto dependent society. Amy Best continues in Fast Cars, Cool Rides, “Freedom, more often than not carries significant social and financial costs”, (2006). This concept of freedom at a cost is present everywhere in our society; it can be seen as a false promise or a blatant denial of freedom. I will look at how both are constantly present and leave no one untouched. The best examples of both are present in the American Vacation. What was once a privilege for the wealthy; the American vacation became a staple in our culture. In Are we there yet?: the golden age of American family vacations, Susan Sessions describes the vacation as such: “Historians of tourism have argued that travel was a way of affirming one’s identity as an American and have argued that travel was a ritual of citizenship”, (2010).White middle-class families prepare week-long vacations of great sights, only to be over planned and needing a vacation when they return. It is really a vacation when it so closely resembles work, (false promise). A blatant denial existed in the early vacationing of black travelers. Are we there yet?, also describes how early Black travelers had to create their own tour guides in agencies, in order to know where they were welcome (2010). These ‘Green Books’ were the only access to vacationing that Blacks had, they sights often included monuments and large companies that would work with Blacks. The early vacations of blacks showed the stark contrast between their freedom and that of their white counter-parts. While the American vacation showcases both false promises and blatant lacks of freedom, these concepts exist today throughout our culture.
False Promises
Time and time again our dependency on the automobile is present. For our lives exist the way they do because...

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