The Gladstone and the Leica
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Mr. McArdle's obsession with his Gladstone suitcase and Leica camera exemplify his materialism, or to take on the authorial perspective, his very American materialism. While Teddy waxes philosophic about perception and reality, all his father can do is yell at him to get off the suitcase and retrieve his camera. That the text focuses on specific brand names and monetary values drives home the point further. Teddy will soon show us that such petty concerns are pointless and even ridiculous.