Drive Done by: Marcus Low ChiranMandula Hsieh Jing Shiuh Liu Tai Lai
Main Characters • Driver, • RX-7 Driver, • Lizzie
Lizzie • Keeps a low profile • Pg 45: “Sssh… Don’t make trouble” • Pg 46: “Just eat okay? The people at the next table are staring” • Stubborn • Pg 52: “She didn’t understand. And wasn’t willing to try, even after all these years.” • Righteous • Pg 54: “Ming sort of appropriated them…He saw Lizzie’s frown and broke the silence.”
Bm Driver • University graduate • Pg 51: “You university people think you’re so smart, right?” • Successful • Lives in Bukit Timah and drives a BeeM • Reckless • Found all over the story, participates in car chase
RX-7 Driver • Rude • Pg 48: “The driver stuck his fist out of the windows into the rushing wind: a thumb wrapped under the closed index finger, pointing to him.”
Symbolism • University students • Ken • Friends • Man driving the RX-7 • Cars • Scratching of car
Symbolism of the title • It can mean • literally driving race between cars • Driving force of society • University students driving towards a perfect society
Symbolism • In the point of view of the university students • Driving on a smooth road – perfect society • Traffic lights – obstacles – people like RX-7 driver
University Students • Symbolize the perfect and ideal society • Well Educated • Rich • BMW • Feels that the world revolves around them • Thinks the world about themselves
University Students • Leads them to be inadvertently sucked into a vortex of material pursuits and senseless competition • Racing with the RX-7 driver on the CTE
RX-7 Driver • “Imperfection” to society • From a different world, a different ‘obit’. • Described as having a “plain face, dark from the sun, no glasses, permed hair….On the right wrist…a thick gold chain” [direct quotation] • Differs from the norm of the society of the university students
RX-7 Driver • If he was dark from the sun • No education • If he had no glasses • Lack of educational qualifications • Lack of intellectual capacity • Differs from the norm of the society of the univerty student (society)
Cars • Symbolize how success is viewed • University student • BMW • Driver • RX-7 • Difference in cars • Show the difference in what is viewed as successful in the society of the university students
Cars • BMW • High end continental car • Defined as successful (not within budget of average singaporean) • Fast • Powerful • RX-7 • Affordable Japanese sports car • Cannot afford continental model • Would still like the speed of one
Scratching of the car • Driver scratched Ken’s BMW • With a crowbar • Clear, smooth body of the car symbolizes society • Refer to university students • Scratching of it with the crowbar referred to the flaws in society
Scratching of the car • Crowbar symbolizes objects in society which cause imperfection • Refer to the driver (in the context of the university student) • We can never have a society which is perfect or free of imperfection.
Marginalization • “Maybe Lizzie was right: he was from a different world, a different “orbit” .” • “ ‘You university people think you’re so smart, right?” • “No point getting involved with that kind of person.” “What kind of person?” “You know.” “The type Lizzie thinks carries a knife or bearing scraper.” • All these evidence shows that there is marginalization in the story, mainly between university educated people and non-university educated people.
Marginalization • We know that the narrator belongs to this well off and elite group as he is a successful university graduate who has the trappings of success associated with him. For example, he drives a BeeM, listens to Mozart as he drives and lives in Bukit Timah. • In contrast, the RX-7 driver is perceived by the narrator as “from a different world, a different ‘obit’.” He is described as having a “plain face, dark from the sun, no glasses, permed hair….On the right wrist…a thick gold chain.”
Society Issue of Class • The BeeM driven by the narrator as well as living in Bukit Timah, where landed houses are found, are commonly accepted signs of the trappings of success in Singapore because possession of these would suggest that one has “arrived” as these objects are normally not within the reach of the average, ordinary Singaporeans. • In contrast, the RX-7 suggests an affordable Japanese sports car driven by someone who cannot afford a continental model but would still like the speed of one. In other words, a “wannabe”.
Society Issue of Class • The RX-7 driver’s face “dark from the sun” suggests that he is one prone to working under the sun, probably dealing in labour intensive work. • It suggests his lack of educational qualifications. The lack of glasses seems to further suggests his lack of intellectual capacity.
Office Life • “Lizze, Choon Ming and Kathy, Ken and Mei Lin – dressed in their office clothes, each with a bowl of steaming hot Hokkien prawn mee. Choon Ming, like him, still with a tie, Ken with his sleeves rolled up, almost finished with his first bowl.” • “It was still early, only 10.00. Coffee and cakes had been followed by ice cream and then sandwhiches and fruit- a plate of cut kiwi, strawberries and seedless grapes.” • This shows the kind of life they lead when they are in the office.
Decision Making • “No point getting involved with that kind of person.” – Ken • … What Ken had done seemed like an act of cowardice.” • This shows that different decisions that two different people would make. • “Shit you should have scratched his car.” – Ming • In fact, he thought of it… but he might be caught. • “The BeeM accelerated…” “It was the car (RX-7) alright. Then he didn’t have time to think of anything else.” • This all shows the different decisions people would make under what situation.
Conclusion • In conclusion, through the story Drive, the societal issue of class is clearly shown. Simon Tay uses these signs to reinforce stereotypes and cultural assumptions. This sign system functions as an ideological system to keep people defined and classified so that similarities and differences are all at once readily identifiable.