When the Princess agrees to help Chance become famous, she allows him to take her Cadillac for a drive around St. Cloud. When she asks why he wants to do this, he says: “I’m pretentious. I want to be seen in your car on the streets of St. Cloud. Drive all around town in it, blowing those long silver trumpets […].” Saying this, he openly admits that he wants to impress his old friends and neighbors, who talk about him frequently and wonder where he has run off to, since he’s always leaving St. Cloud. Despite his desire to use the Cadillac as a symbol of success, though, people like Scotty—an old friend—see right through his attempt to impress them. Indeed, when Chance and Scotty get into an argument, Scotty says: “I don’t get by on my looks, but I drive my own car. It isn’t a Caddy, but it’s my own car.” In turn, he makes it clear that nobody believes Chance actually owns the Princess’s Cadillac. Because of this, the car doesn’t represent Chance’s newfound success and prosperity—like he wants it to—but rather his irresponsibility and inability to support himself.
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Cadillac appears in Sweet Bird of Youth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene Two
Act Two, Scene One
Act Two, Scene Two
...Princess keeps telling Chance about what she felt when she saw him driving in her Cadillac, revealing that she experienced a pang of emotion and affection for him. “I felt something... (full context)