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History

2015

University of Dayton

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Full-Text Articles in Art and Design

Stealing Freedom: Auto Theft And Autonomous Individualism In American Film, James Todd Uhlman, John Alfred Heitmann Feb 2015

Stealing Freedom: Auto Theft And Autonomous Individualism In American Film, James Todd Uhlman, John Alfred Heitmann

History Faculty Publications

In the real world today auto theft is usually about gangs, drugs, and money (Heitmann and Morales 5). However, since 1945, the cinematic representation of auto theft has had more to do with the symbolic meaning cars and driving hold in American culture. In the early twentieth century, the automobile and driving became associated with many of the classic qualities of American identity (March and Collette 107). The roots of that expectation stretch back even further to the role that movement played in the colonization of the continent. The unrestrained capacity to move became equated early in the American cultural ...