Gender Roles in the Great Gatsby

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Dark times for Gatsby women

American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul Minnesota grew up in good fortune. Fitzgerald quit Princeton University and joined the military. The earliest success of his first book was This side of paradise (1920). Fitzgerald rose to eminence as an archivist which made him a prompt celebrity. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald writes about gender roles in a kind of conservative route. throughout this novel, the men work to pocket money for the women to spend carelessly on themselves. Gatsby is in love with Daisy and tries to win her love by showing that he has become prosperous although no matter how rich he becomes, or how many large parties he throws, he still isn't winning over Daisy. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald illustrates how women are negatively portrayed often objectified by men.

In the novel, the author shows gender roles in a dark light. It exemplifies through Daisy's cynicism, tom’s aggressive masculinity, Jordan, and Daisy being described as being balloons. Chapter 2 shows when toms make a passive-aggressive statement to everyone but directly to Jordan. “How you ever get anything done is beyond me” (Fitzgerald 10). Too Elaborate, In tom’s mind, he believes women are just luxury items that are owned by men and should always be appreciative of the wealth they supply, therefore tom thinks it's a joke how Jordan is rich and independent without needing a man. The damaging gender roles have implemented when Daisy confesses that for a girl to survive she needs to be beautiful and stupid. ‘I’m glad it's a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (Fitzgerald 17). According to Daisy, having beauty and being a fool is how you thrive in the world, she notes the social values of her time, but she does not seem to oppose or challenge them. This shows how Fitzgerald illustrates how women are negatively influenced and frequently objectified by men.

Tom’s physical appearance is resonated in his cognitive inflexibility and single-minded way of thinking about women as objects and dependent on a man. As a result, Tom speaks his sexist biased opinion of women, “By God, I may be old-fashioned in my ideas, but women run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish” (Fitzgerald 103). Correspondingly, Tom's remark very is ironic because it reveals so blatantly the double standard he believes. It is a notch example of the hypocrisy of his views about women found in his behavior and expectations of Myrtle. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows how women are adversely presented and commonly objectified by men.

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More negative thinking of women is presented through Nick’s and Jordan's relationship. Jordan depicts a new path for women Whereas Daisy is the object of men’s vision and cynicism. Jordan displays a cold-hearted pragmatism that, for Nick, he connects her more forcefully to the real world. Another essential point is Nick is half in love with her and a bit revolted by Jordan because he can't deal with the fact that she doesn't depend on a man. This is interpreted in chapter 1 “At any rate, Miss Baker's lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly, and then quickly tipped her head back again—the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright. Again a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.” (Fitzgerald 32 ). Jordan is self-sufficient and doesn't need a man to sweep her off her feet.

The continued issue focused on how women are portrayed women are negatively presented and frequently objectified by men. Furthermore, Tom Buchanan's strong masculinity is shown through how he shuts the rear window, additionally how Nick compares Daisy and Jordan as objects. “Two young women buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house ...Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and caught wind died out about the room...And the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.” ( Fitzgerald 8). Tom’s entrance is described as His presence bringing a cease to the moving winds and giving a hard and somber permanence to the predicament of being in the room. It is as if the ladies have been confined and there is an intensity when Tom is around. Also how Nick contrasts them as floating objects, women are in white and white is a color that symbolizes innocence, When Tom shuts the window he is in control and everything is stopped.

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald illustrates in detail how women are negatively portrayed as immoral and cynical often objectified by men. Tom's views are molded in him due to his time in the 1920s when women were treated lower than men and as objects. He won't change his views and will continue to treat Myrtle and Daisy poorly. As a result, Daisy's cynicism comes to the light, and she won't change her views nor oppose them. Gatsby is a rich perplexing man who throws luxurious parties, learning about his background, a child from meek origins. Gatsby was desperate to win back their love Daisy and loses everything in his last strive to win Daisy over. The moral lesson is, Money can’t buy women nor happiness and love, Women are not objects you cant woo over money and luxurious items, complementary to this it was the opposite in Myrtle's case, due to the time and the society’s views. In the novel, Women are illustrated as cynical and amoral and in Men’s views women are treated as objects, men’s masculinity is very apparent and enforced on women.

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Gender Roles in the Great Gatsby. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“Gender Roles in the Great Gatsby.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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