I believe that the trains are a bad omen because whenever anyone goes anywhere near the trains something bad ends up happening. Ex. Buddy dying, Stumps arm
Good point Prabh, and trains take people away from the town of Whistle Stop - into the darkness of the big bad world.
It also symbolizes a divide between the real world and the Utopia of that is Whistle Stop. It almost seems like Whistle Stop is in a world of its own and is completely oblivious to the real world.
Trains represent the lively hood of the people in Whistle Stop. People use the trains as transportation "just five of the estimated two hundred thousand roaming the countryside on trains" (Flagg 14). Also, the entire town revolves around the importance of the trains including the very important Whistle stop cafe. It also provides many of the people in the book with employment at L&N Rail.
Yes, this is a Marxist reading of the book for sure. You looked at the class issues inherent in the town (which is economically dependent upon the train). So, in a way, the train is the base of the town.
symbolism of trains in fried green tomatoes
I believe that trains symbolize the journey from one life to another, as many characters are killed by trains or transported while dead. For example Mr.Pinto's dead body was transported by train to a whistlestop. Additionally, Willie and buddy were both killed by trains.
I think that the symbol of trains within FGT contradicts between danger and safety to the residents of Whistle Stop through the events between Buddy, and Buddy Jr. Threadgoode and Railroad Bill. In explanation of Buddy's death "They say he never even heard the train that was coming up behind him,"(). also Buddy Jr gets ran over by the train, but luckily survives only loosing an arm. Buddy's initial death foreshadows the danger the tracks can pose if not careful, and Buddy Jr's incident later on in the novel. contradicting the danger of the Train, we see how Railroad Bill allows readers to symbolize the train as safety through his actions in providing food for people in need. "Railroad Bill threw 17 hams off the government supply train the other night, and I understand our friends in Trout ville had a wonderful Thanksgiving,"(Flagg ,99)