Lower Class In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays
The 1920s, also known as the Roaring Twenties, was an age of dramatic changes in societal expectations. It was a time of economic progress for Americans, which meant many people from the lower class had the opportunity to earn enough money and improve their position in society. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby, the protagonist in the novel, came from the lower class and thought that his new wealth could win over Daisy Buchanan, who originally came from the higher class. Fitzgerald symbolizes Daisy as Gatsby’s American Dream, or his success and prosperity. This eventually created conflict between the higher and lower class. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates the difficulty of upward social mobility due to the rigid class structure, which ultimately resulted in the realization that the American Dream was unattainable to those of the lower class.
In the novel, Jay Gatsby’s determination to rise in class and obtain his goal, illustrates a shift in the traditional ideas prior to the 1920’s. As Gatsby gives the ambitious young reporter his life story he explains that “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people… he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end,” (Fitzgerald 98). Fitzgerald characterizes Gatsby as hopeful, or someone who would go to great lengths to appear that he belongs in the upper class in order to
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