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In the beginning America was new and undiscovered. There were resources just waiting to be taken hold of in order to attain great riches and with this came the birth of the American Dream. The American Dream is the idea that with unfaltering determination one can acquire a prosperous life. Jay Gatsby only wanted to gain money so he could have his dream life with Daisy who needed someone who could take care of her. At the time “he had no comfortable family standing behind him”(Fit. 156). Throughout history people have fled from poverty to America in order to find a better way of life where they can accomplish the ultimate goal of wealth. For example, the Irish immigrants went to America to escape starvation and a worthless existence, in hope for a brand new start at a good life. Since the start, America has been a land where anything can happen and anyone can be rich with a little hard work. America is a place where the old caste system is abandoned and freedom to do anything and be anyone is taken to a new extreme.
In the 1920’s those who were born into wealth looked down on those who had just acquired it. The old rich had high-class traditions, which the new rich lacked. The old rich also did not trust the new rich made evident as Tom says to Nick “ a lot of these newly rich people are just big bootlegger, you know.”(Fit.114). Old rich people were educated and polite while the new rich were just looking for a good time. At partys the newly rich got drunk and displayed despicable behavior which the old rich frowned upon "She was appalled by West Egg...by its raw vigor that chafed...and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.”(Fit. 113). It is unfair to think that people who were born into wealth were treated with higher respect than those who worked terribly hard for it, but the old rich viewed those who followed the American Dream “as the hollow men as the stuffed men”(Eliot 17-18).
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