Theme Of Social Mobility In The Great Gatsby

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During the 1920s, America seemed to be a land of glamor and luxury. Underneath the beauty, however, was a vast underworld of crime: bootleggers and gangs ran rampant, controlling even members of the government. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, he tells a tale of that decade, which appears glamorous but is filled with corruption. The novel makes a naturalism argument about the impossibility of changing social class, revealing that only a facade of mobility can be achieved through debaucherous actions. Firstly, the impossibility of social mobility can be seen through the characters that attempt to become upper class through more traditional, “moral” ways. An excellent example of this can be found in Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story. Nick moved east to New York to “[learn] the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Mæcenas knew,” but ultimately he decided to go back home to his family in the Midwest (Fitzgerald 4). Nick wished for the richness that the upper class offered, further proven by his relationship with Jordan Baker. In the end, however, Nick was unable to attain riches. He moved back to the home he left, and he was unable to stay with Jordan. Nick attempted to get rich via the “right” path - hard work - but he was unable to increase his status. Another example of this can be seen in George Wilson, the owner of a garage in the Valley of Ashes. George Wilson is a business owner, the typical ideal candidate to achieve a rags-to-riches

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