The Gold Cadillac

465 Words2 Pages
Aren’t you glad you live in a time where racism is no longer acceptable? In the novella, The Gold Cadillac, by Mildred Taylor, we meet an African American father who realizes that the safety of his family is more important than his need to exercise his rights. As the story unfolds we meet an African American father named Wilbert who lived with his family during the 1950s. Wilbert, the father, impulsively purchases an expensive Cadillac without the approval of his wife, Dee. He then decides to drive the Cadillac south even though his friends and family have expressed their fears about his decision. On their journey to Mississippi, the family witnesses racial prejudice first hand when Wilbert is pulled over and wrongly accused of speeding simply because of his race. In the end, Wilbert sells the Cadillac for a lesser car because he realizes that his family’s safety is more important than exercising his rights. The story takes place in the 1950’s when racism was practiced liberally and policemen were free to discriminate without any consequences. Because these actions were allowed, racism had run rampant in Mississippi. This unacceptable behavior was first seen when Wilbert’s daughters saw the racist “white only” signs. The fact that an African American was driving a nice car drew a lot of attention to Wilbert and his family. All of this attention forced them to do something about the car. Finally, Wilbert realized that he must sell the Cadillac in order to protect his family. Most importantly Wilbert, the main character, demonstrates the theme of the story. We witness this in the beginning of the story when Wilbert impulsively purchases an expensive Cadillac without consulting his wife. Even though Dee is irritated that he bought the car Wilbert stubbornly insists on driving the car south to visit relatives, much to the dissatisfaction of his family. When

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