The Suv Phenomenon Essay

666 words - 3 pages

"The SUV Phenomenon"Coming from an affluent suburb, I know first-hand that the number of SUV's people own has grown to a staggering figure. I often wonder why all these stay-at-home mothers and businessmen so desperately need these enormous off-roading vehicles when their activities consist of commutes to and from grocery stores and office buildings.In David Goeway's essay, "'Careful, You May Run Out of Planet': SUV's and the Exploitation of the American Myth" (Maasik and Solomon 105), I begin to view the connotative embodiment of the SUV from an alternative perspective. He discusses at length the history of the automobile in conjunction with man's desire of independent travel; beginning from the first automobiles and ending in the present with our super-sized SUV's (105-6). Throughout his essay, he points out several contradictions (especially evident in advertising) surrounding the American ideology of the SUV.He addresses advertisements for SUV's that display the vehicle amongst the gorgeous outdoors, implying that the car is at one with nature. As Goeway notes, "[T]he SUV is anything but nature-friendly with its thirsty gasoline tank and lower emission standards."(106). Furthermore, in proving the SUV's inharmonious relationship with nature, we learn that automobiles must meet a fuel economy standard of 27.5 miles a gallon while SUV's are permitted to drop as low as 20.7 miles a gallon with some SUV's still falling short of the lenient standard (113).In Thomas Hine's "What's In a Package", he says "Advertising leads consumers into temptation." (71). This is evident when we look at current advertisements that target both genders. Men see a commercial and immediately feel that if they had an SUV, they would be rugged, attractive and invincible. An SUV shown traversing rugged terrain tells a man that he will discover a boundless frontier for his newfound strength.When a woman sees a commercial for an SUV, she sees the embodiment...

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