Social class is a very diverse and controversial topic in America. People often deny that social classes even exist, pretending to not be affected by being classified with a social standing based on how much money you make annually. The three works, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the film People Like Us: Social Class in America by Luis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker all tell a different story from different perspectives on how social classes separate people. Each work depicts people from different backgrounds struggling with some sort of problem with the class they’ve been associated with, trying to conform somewhere they usually wouldn’t. The American dream is the idea held by many in the United States that through hard work, courage and determination one can achieve prosperity. However, this isn’t always the case, reality or not.
In The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, the Walls family had almost always been financially struggling, due to their fathers strange and sporadic odd jobs. Living in lower social classes for most of their childhood, created a strong drive for the Walls’ children to strive for a successful future. “We’re not poor” (121). This was said by Jeannette when the Walls receive a ride from a stranger after their vehicle breaks down on the highway, Jeannette is annoyed by the tone of the woman who offers to drive them home. She is especially upset by the woman's frequent use of the word 'poor' to describe her family. Trying to defend her parents and siblings, Jeannette sternly states that the family is not poor and the woman apologizes. After this incident, Jeannette begins to define herself apart from her and her family's situation and she refuses to accept the arrogance shown to her by some members of society. A quote said by Jeannette’s father "If you dont want to sink, you better learn how to swim" (66). Was ...
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