The truck; the larger, stronger machine was portrayed in this way to show that the driver is 'a bigger man'. This could be looked upon as a phallic reference between the two men. This is obviously hinting at the fact that the size of a mans phallus is used in culture as a measure of a man's masculinity and is a symbol of power, therefore translating well on screen as David vs Goliath like battle goes on between a small Plymouth Valiant and a towering rusty truck that bellows smoke.
Another metaphor in Duel, would be the scene in which David stumbles across a stranded school bus filled with children on his journey. The driver of the school bus, hails for Davids help and requests that David uses his car to push the bus back into motion again. David attempts to use the minute force of his car to send the bus back on its journey but instead ends up
getting jammed underneath the buses bumper, to which the children in the back of the bus start to point and laugh at him. The trucker, who has been following him, takes control and makes the job look easy and with no difficulty, he bumps the bus into motion again. The humiliation that David felt in this scene shows that his masculinity took another knock at that moment. It essentially shows that David could be seen as impotent because he didn't have the strength to get the job done.
Maslin, J (1983) 'Spielberg's 'Duel', Four- Wheel Combat At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review? res=9804EFD81138F936A25757C0A965948260 (Accessed on 03.04.2016)
Thomas, W (2000) 'Duel Review' At: http://www.empireonline.com/movies/duel/review/
(accessed on 01.04.2016)
Fig 1. Marton, Y. TIFF Director and CEO Handling's Top 10 Movies (2013) [Film Snapshot] At: http://www.thestar.com/autos/ 2014/09/04/ tiff_director_and_ceo_piers_handlings_top_10_car_movies.html ( Accessed on 09.05.2016)
Fig 2. Avant, J .Truck or Treat: 5 Iconic Horror Movie Cars (2015) [Film Snapshot] At: https://www.idrivesafely.com/blog/5-scary-movie-cars ( Accessed on 09.05.2016)
Fig 3. Dumas, A. Duel: Not The Rattlesnakes! (2010), [Film Screenshot] At: http://horrordigest.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/duel-not-rattlesnakes.html (Accessed 10.05.2016)