Carless at Last by J.B. Priestly

Carless at Last  by J.B. Priestly
            J.B. Priestly in his essay “Carless at Last” deviates  from the modern man’s increasing dependence on the automobile.  He says humorously that he is “Careless” (without a care) because he is “Carless”(without a car).

            J.B. Priestly affirms that there is more happiness in his heart than people who have cars.  In fact there is more music in his heart than “Daventery Experimental”, a radio programme in Britain which gave plenty of music.  All the difficulties faced by him as the owner of a car have disappeared.  He is free from the lying reports of the mechanics who always troubled him.  He is happily relieved from all the expensive bills for repairs.  Travel in trains and buses is extremely cheap and comfortable compared to owning a car.  The Royal Automobile club (The R.A.C.), the Automobile Association (The A.A.),  Double Shell, Dunlop and Michelin have nothing to do with him.  He is also indifferent to the real character of Ethyl, a fuel used in the automobiles.
            There is a lot of positive change in the author’s attitude when he has no car.  He welcomes the narrowest winding roads instead of complaining against them.  The sight of the cattle on the road which irritated him as the owner of a car, gives him immense pleasure.  Old women who were moving unsteadily on the road made him frown when he owned a car, but now he smiles at them.  He likes even the cyclists whom he treated with contempt and envy as the owner of a car.  He is not partial anymore in showing high regard for expensive cars like the Rolls and the Daimler and scorn for the oldest Ford.  In other words, he is happy, free, carless and careless.
            The author talks about the two cars he owned.  His first car was an object of ridicule.  It always had at least one part which was not working.  Sometimes no part was working in the proper way.  It consumed only a little petrol and the author humorously says that it was nearly an object of wonder to move along the road with so many deficiencies.   Mechanics considered the author as a wizard, to drive such an old, deficient vehicle.  His second and the last car was a good one, the product of a well-known firm, but it consumed so much petrol and oil.  The author felt like feeding a drunkard when he filled it with petrol and oil.  It was so expensive, and the author was happy when it was gone.
            According to J.B. Priestly, a driver needs so much concentration.  As a driver, he lacked the power of concentration, and as a result, he made many mistakes.  He faced many accidents in various places.  Moreover he never liked thick traffic, and it always made him sweat.  Now that he is carless, he has no worries at all.  He is relieved from taxes, garage fees, and bills for petrol and oil.  He has no trouble from mechanics and he does not bother about good roads, bad roads, trams or policemen.  He does not need to give a lift to anybody.  On the other hard, he can get a lift in any vehicle.  So he whistles a joyful tune because he is “Carless” and “Careless”.

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