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English - A Cadillac Full Of Diamonds Analysis

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Eddy Airiants Analysis of "A Cadillac Full of Diamonds" July 30 2007 The short story "A Cadillac Full of Diamonds" by John Ciardi is at first glance a ridiculous story of a man who quickly becomes rich. This anonymous protagonist one day turns serendipitously wealthy by pulling a lever that makes diamonds descend upon him from the sky. He fills the car full of these diamonds, scrapes to get in, and then attempts to drive home with his newfound affluence. He is halted, however, when a myriad of obstacles prevent him from ever reaching home. Told innocently, this story seems little more than an unorthodox way to bring enjoyment to the reader. ...read more.


His continuous need for more wealth is telling of human nature: we cannot be satisfied unless we have all which is possible. Moreover, the man's family is the stereotypical American family, adding a sense of commonality between the man and the reader. The man's decision to sacrifice his relationship with his family in order to provide them with more wealth is presented in an absurd matter: he drives around his home, only able to catch glimpses of his wife and child. This situation is dramatically ironic as we realize that the man wants to more to see his family than to circle around them without interaction; however, he is not willing to sacrifice his guaranteed supply of wealth to attain the compromise. ...read more.


The discomfort suffered by sitting amongst diamonds - cuts, bruises, and bumps - represents the possible inconveniences that having riches may provide. Overall, the story is about mankind's consistent lust for money and the consequences that that lust brings forth. It represents the struggle that many working class people go through to provide for their families, while drawing heavily upon the negative results of such a self-decimating but self-inflicted lifestyle. This is done through the use of allusions and metaphors, most of which are embedded into the story itself. But, despite his criticisms of the working society, Ciardi leaves the reader with showing of humanity's unrivalled persistence and thus a positive view of human life: "I have responsibilities. I've got to hold on." ...read more.

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