Chip McGrath has an interesting essay on social class in American novels (and culture in general), suggeesting that the poor were quite invisible in fiction until the turn of the 19th century and that a substantial portion of 20th century novels have been devoted to a long tradition of upward mobility worship. McGrath accuses American culture of turning its back on blue-collar life and suggests, “If Gatsby were to come back today, he would come back as Donald Trump and would want a date not with Daisy but with Britney. And if Edith Wharton were still writing, how could she not include a heavily blinged hip-hop mogul?”
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