Part 1: The Choice You Make Reveal Your Class
As far as my shopping is concerned, I have purchased a great deal of different items which are of little practical value, but which make my status higher. For instance, I have purchased the latest version of iPhone, iPad and Levi Strauss jeans. Mostly all my clothes are from Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and other fashion designers. The reasons that induced me to purchase them are obvious: I want to look successful and rich. In my opinion, unlabeled goods do not necessarily signify that they are of inferior quality, they connote that the owner does not have much money. Sadly, but money became the indicator of the one’s success and prosperity. The easiest way to demonstrate the one’s wealth is to wear expensive clothes. Therefore, those who do not put on brand new clothes are considered “lower-class”.
The kernel of the conflict over the erection of the new store in Burligton, Vermont is the implacable animosity between two social groups. The first one, mainly rich, educated and progressive Americans vigorously support the idea that a new modern supermarket should be built, while their opponents fervently protest. In particular, the second group suggests that another co-op shop should be built to serve the needs of the community. Although the ”progressive party” suggests that the prices will be lower and healthy, organic food will become available, ordinary Americans like Oak Logalbo and Ned Flinn admit that they prefer to make their shopping in traditional co-ops, naming big supermarkets “cancer”. The reason is that the people with the mindsets of the poor reluctantly admit any changes, even if they are positive in their nature.
Ginie Sayeles used to be an ordinary girl from a rural community, who suddenly had a stroke of luck. She somehow contrived to marry a millionaire and now she considers that the most efficient and shortest way to become prosperous is to imitate the moneybags’ demeanor, habits and lifestyles. Her crony, Vessa Rinehart works as a museum staffer and pertains to the middle class of the United States society. However, she aspires to marry a millionaire or at least a well-to-do person. If her gallant does not have money, car and steady job, she refuses his courtship. Both ladies purchase brand new labeled clothes in order to inform everyone around that they are successful and rich.
I am strongly convinced that their techniques are merely ridiculous. In order to become rich and successful, surely the experience of successful people could be used. Nor the clothes or jewelry, but the way of thinking is the shortest way to a transformation into a rich person.
Part 2: High and Low
An average upper middle-class woman makes her conclusions about someone in a bathing suit from the price of the suit and the level of someone’s tanning. If a person wears expensive, brand label bath clothes and is solarium sunburnt, this person evidently belongs to upper class. Personally I never make similar judgments, because the primary things I appreciate are moral values.
Race and ethnicity are often viewed as determinative factors in terms of class affiliation in the United States. African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans with few exceptions are ubiquitously considered as poor people. In any case it is not connected with the color of their skin, but with the lifestyles these people prefer to follow. This conflict is also relevant to the Italian communities scattered across the country. For instance, 90 percent of the United States billionaires are White American Protestants, while only 10 remaining per cents represent ethnic minorities. White Americans usually view African-American citizens as uneducated people who are fit only for underpaid manual labor. Well-to-do African-Americans are ubiquitously regarded as rare exceptions to the common rule.
The bottom means having low income and abstaining from all forms of political, economic and social processes in the country. Being in the “invisible” group in the USA connotes that the one cannot protect herself or himself economically, i.e. pay the bills and provide a decent education for the children. Tabby Crabtree is “invisible” because she does not have sufficient funds to finance college education of her kids and because she lives in a trailer instead of a house. She is mistreat by the neighbors, promising employers and even by her own children. And the only concern is lack of money and financial support of her relatives. However, she is personally satisfied with her life, and economic hardships do not frustrate her. She has her room, her kitchen and her beloved kids, although they are not in favor of having such a mother. She is happy.
No, purchasing more expensive clothes and socializing with the peers from well-off families do not make Matt classier than his mother or brothers. Virtually, Matt is able to achieve his goal in proper conditions. The main impediment for him is financial hardship of his mother; in particular she is not financially capable to provide his education. However, nothing prevents him for applying for a scholarship or a student’s loan. In fact, nothing serious prevents him from becoming a successful American. I am strongly opined that neither the mother, nor the son are capable of “making it” by their means and therefore this statement is irreconcilable with the fundamental postulate of success, that it comes only to those, who work hard.
The model of success advocated by Ginie Sayles is acceptable neither for Crabtrees nor for any other adequate American citizen. Her formula may be useful only for young ladies desiring to ensnare a billionaire.
Part 3: Salt of the Beach
Dana Felty feels conflicted because she is not entirely sure that she has made a right choice deciding to move from Kentucky to Washington. Outer success is challenged by the sense of estrangement with her family and friends. When she moved to Washington and was hired as a journalist she received decent salary and broad career opportunities, but she lost rapport with her family.
Many Americans deny this evident fact because one group does not want to accentuate its affiliation with the upper class and therefore disclaims that it discriminates the rest of the Americans, while the other one is not in favor of admitting its low status. Fortunately, class structure is about to expire in the USA, due to the fact that Americans will someday comprehend that neither abundant wealth nor poverty is beneficial for the community. Class stratification is negative in its nature, because it splits the society into several parts. The community must be united, but not divided. However, I assume that growing up in a particular class does not affect our expectations in life. The key to success is not the parental support, but our individual abilities and skills.