The story is about a young man at the University whose intention is to obtain a girl by the name Polly Epsy from his friend, Petey Burch. Petey is in dire need of a raccoon coat and he reaches an agreement with the narrator to exchange his girlfriend Polly for a raccoon coat that was at the time highly valued.
The Stutz Bearcat car seems to have been the ‘in-thing’ during his father’s time in 1925. It was a popular and expensive sports car in the 1920s. The Charleston dance was a popular trend in the earlier years. However, it was once again gaining popularity and Petey regrets that he did not realize that the raccoon coats could as well resurface as a trend. All these terms signify fads and trends in a particular time when most people tend to identify with them (Shulman 1-4).
The raccoon coat seems to have been the trend associated particularly with the college male student at the time that the writer is in college. The coats had last been in fashion in the 1920s but were once again resurfacing. The coats signified the trend at that moment in time and anyone having them would be deemed as being of a higher social class. This signifies how trends and fashions tend to be linked to one’s social class in society.
The Stutz Bearcat Cars seem to be the trend in the days of the writer’s father. These were well known sports cars in the 1920s. The model was expensive at that time and was mostly associated with members of a higher social class. The car offered all weather protection and was light yet with much power hence giving it excellent speed.
It was a symbol of a wealthy status at that time. Given that his father who had a raccoon coat and a Stutz Bearcat car, this signifies that he was of a higher social class (Shulman 1-4). This is symbolic of how society tends to view trends, fashions and motor vehicles, among other trends. Society tends to classify people according to what they wear and drive and those who go by the trends of the time are perceived as being of a higher social class.
The Charleston dance is another symbol of status. The dance was started by the African-American communities that were living near Charleston. The dance has been popularized into becoming the current trend and every dancer wants to associate with it.
This is significant as it indicates how people tend to popularize a trend and associate it with greatness. The dance seemed to have become a trend once more during the writer’s time. This shows how trends tend to be recycled and people go for them as though they were something new.
The raccoon coat can be compared to the three piece suit in our times which is perceived as the ‘in-thing’. It is expensive and preferred especially during official meetings, weddings or while on official trips. The fashion seems to be associated with the high class people. Most young men would do anything to have it and ladies would prefer those gentlemen wearing them.
The Stutz Bearcat car can on the other hand be compared to the limousine car which is luxurious car that associated with comfort and quality ant basically belongs to the reach in society (Shulman 2). The Charleston dance on the other hand could be compared to the salsa dance, a syncretic dance whose origin is Cuba and it is mostly performed between a male and female and it is particularly preferred during high profile parties and weddings.
People tend to be susceptible to trends and fads. Most people get obsessed with trends and will go to any length just to get associated with a certain trend. In the story for instance, Petey is even willing to give away the love of his life just to get a raccoon coat and the girl decides to turn down a young intellectual and promising man just because his boyfriend had acquired the coat that was the fad of the time. The writer concludes that love is just a fallacy like all the other fallacies.
People go for trends despite the fact that they are being recycled from the old fashioned trends and they adopt them as though they were something new. In some cases the fads and trends may be unsuitable as in the case of the raccoon coats which the writer describes as heavy, fading and unsightly (Shulman 1).
Shulman, Max. Love is a Fallacy. Massachussets: Jones and Bartletts, 1951. Print.