I picked a clip from the movie Cars (2006) as a representation of the road. In this scene, Sally tells Lightning McQueen about Route 66 and how it contributed to the success of Radiator Springs. While the two are looking out over the town, McQueen criticizes the cars that are driving on Interstate 40 and missing the great times in Radiator Springs. Sally replies that prior to the construction of Interstate 40, cars drove on Route 66, not to “make great time, but to have a great time.” However, once the interstate was built, Route 66 was no longer used, and Radiator Springs turned into a ghost town. In this clip, I think Interstate 40 is a sort of trap. The cars drive on it in order to get to places faster instead of enjoying themselves and taking their time. Route 66 represents a simpler time, when small towns were valued, and communities of travelers were formed.
Even though Cars is a cartoon, many of the themes are applicable in real life. When the cars (and people) drove on Route 66, they were able to be free, take their time, and escape from their responsibilities. Interstate 40 is seen as more modernized and industrial. People do not drive on it to get the road experience, but because they are in a hurry to get to their final destination. I think this movie is partially a commentary on the fast-paced American society. We value efficiency over everything else and can’t slow down and enjoy the simple things. The idea of the road a place of escape is completely lost and is now merely a mode of effective traveling.
Ultimately, I think the road, more specifically Route 66, is being linked to small towns, and small town values. Interstate 40 is more like a large city, where people are always going, never staying. If cars (people) chose to travel on Route 66 instead of the large interstate, then they would be able to experience the real America.