In “The Great Gatsby,” set in the original Roaring ’20s, one of the critically important scenes of the novel involved a car crash.

In the novel, cars represented The American Dream and the desire of people who didn’t have much money to attain that dream and lift themselves from the Valley of Ashes. The car crash itself symbolized the materialism and selfish behavior of 1920s America–key characteristics of the Roaring ’20s.