Fast Food Nation

Golden Arches Symbol Analysis

Golden Arches Symbol Icon
McDonald’s Golden Arches began as a stylistic quirk of the first McDonald’s Speedee Service Restaurant in San Bernardino, CA—a quick way for drivers to spot the burger stand from the side of the highway. As McDonald’s expanded throughout the company—after Ray Kroc took over from the McDonald brothers, and decided to “franchise” locations in many states—the Golden Arches moved from an architectural feature of the restaurants to a broader symbol of the company. By the 1970s, the “M” in McDonald’s signage was created of out two interlocked arches, and often affixed to the top of buildings—again, so that drivers could see McDonald’s from the road.

Golden Arches Quotes in Fast Food Nation

The Fast Food Nation quotes below all refer to the symbol of Golden Arches. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Diet, Nutrition, and Food Safety Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Mariner edition of Fast Food Nation published in 2012.
Chapter 1: The Founding Fathers Quotes

Richard McDonald . . . though untrained as an architect . . . came up with a design [for McDonald’s stores] that was simple, memorable, and archetypal. On two sides of the roof he put golden arches, lit by neon at night, that from a distance formed the letter M.

Related Symbols: Golden Arches
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Fast Food Nation quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 2: Your Trusted Friends Quotes

This is rat eat rat, dog eat dog. I’ll kill ‘em, and I’m going to kill ‘em before they kill me. You’re talking about the American way of survival of the fittest.

Related Characters: Ray Kroc (speaker)
Related Symbols: Golden Arches
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidat

Chapter 4: Success Quotes

As franchises and chain stores opened across the United States, driving along a retail strip became a shopping experience much like strolling down the aisle of a supermarket. Instead of pulling something off the shelf, you pulled into a driveway. The distinctive architecture of each chain became its packaging . . . .

Related Characters: Eric Schlosser (speaker)
Related Symbols: Golden Arches
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla par

Get the entire Fast Food Nation LitChart as a printable PDF.
Fast food nation.pdf.medium

Golden Arches Symbol Timeline in Fast Food Nation

The timeline below shows where the symbol Golden Arches appears in Fast Food Nation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Your Trusted Friends
Greed, Corporations, and “The Bottom Line” Theme Icon
Independence vs. the Social Contract Theme Icon
Bureaucracy and Complex Systems Theme Icon
Work and “The Good Life” Theme Icon
...the country. Kroc also helped introduce what would become McDonald’s most recognizable corporate embodiment—after the Golden Arches themselves—Ronald McDonald, the red-and-yellow-suited clown who would go on to achieve even broader name recognition... (full context)
Chapter 4: Success
Greed, Corporations, and “The Bottom Line” Theme Icon
Independence vs. the Social Contract Theme Icon
Bureaucracy and Complex Systems Theme Icon
Work and “The Good Life” Theme Icon
...period of franchise expansion, changed some of its stores from the original, “old-time” McDonald’s, whose Golden Arches were a structural part of the buildings, to the common “mansard roof” McDonald’s now seen—though... (full context)