The American Dream : The New World As A Land Of Opportunity For Social Mobility

1457 Words6 Pages
Since the discovery of the Americas in the fourteenth century, Western ideals have characterized the New World as a land of opportunity for social mobility. America’s lack of colonization and European ideals of private property resulted in the rapid immigration of Europeans seeking wealth and the possibility of a high social standard. The “American Dream” prevailed on the basis that “all men are equal” as the opportunity to pursue prosperity and achieve a higher social class became a reality for many of those who emigrated for social mobility. However, as technological advances assist in generating more profit, the economic gap between the wealthy and poor widens, often due to the wealthy’s exertion of power over and exploitation of the poor. As a result, the American Dream slowly becomes less accessible to the lower classes and social mobility gradually becomes an illusion. Two social classes in particular conflicted in their views of social conduct. The Old Money social class, or aristocracy, held a system of high sophistication and intermarriage with other inheritors of family fortunes. On the other hand, the nouveau-riche, or newly-rich, previously belonged to a low social class, lacking a distinguished family name, and often displaying their wealth ostentatiously. Such social class distinctions and their interrelations within F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “great American novel” The Great Gatsby enhance and suggest the glorification of a dead American Dream. Fitzgerald’s
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