The Great Gatsby: The Role and Depiction of Women
Individuals of the feminine gender play a critical role not only in literary stories but also in society. The Great Gatsby is an interesting yet educative piece whose depiction of women is unique. This tragic love story, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, is a social commentary on the American way of life. However, many critics have in the recent past ridiculed the manner in which the issue of gender was tackled in this story claiming that it is a male-dominated literary piece. This paper discusses the role played by female characters in this story with a major focus of Jordan, Daisy, and Myrtle while exploring what these characters represent. This analysis also entails a discussion of the differences and similarities among these principal characters. Women hold a special place in the society, and their roles must always be acknowledged.
Fitzgerald’s novel depicts women as prisoners of the patriarch. The men have control over the females and can either possess or disregard them. This novel’s main character of the feminine gender is Daisy Buchanan. This individual has solid and romantic relations with Gatsby and Tom. Myrtle Wilson is a controversial woman character in the book whom the author depicts as an unfaithful. Myrtle is married to a hardworking man whose efforts may be applauded by the audience of this novel. The author also mentions Jordan Baker, a lady who indulges into a romantic relationship with Nick. All these three women were versions of the “new woman” whose character was questioned by the conservatives.
The novel ‘Great Gatsby’ depicted the women as independent beings who had their choices and would conduct the activities that they felt like. These women changed the mannerisms in which they did their daily activities and their lifestyles. For example, the dressings and haircuts that women had adopted were unique. The attitude of these ‘new women’ towards their families also changed, for example, Myrtle is depicted as unfaithful and ungrateful (Fitzgerald). The conservatives viewed the priorities of this lady as off and her actions as careless.
Unfaithfulness is a common feature among all the women in this novel. The first instance of unfaithfulness is witnesses when Myrtle cheats on her husband, Wilson, with Tom. Wilson, in response, locked up Myrtle in her room after discovering her actions. Daisy also cheated on Tom with Jay Gatsby. However, this affair is distinct from that of Tom and Myrtle in treat there was a pre-existing love affair between these two characters and Gatsby still loved Daisy. Jordan Baker compromised her friendship with Daisy by having a love affair with the husband. According to Fitzgerald, “He knew that when he kissed this girl and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God,” (Fitzgerald) Therefore, all the female characters in the Great Gatsby were adulterous.
The key differences among the female characters are their personal appearances, personality traits, and class. The author depicts Daisy as more beautiful than the other two key female characters. Consequently, this character is in her own class that is higher than her colleagues. Men would occasionally ignore Daisy due to her outstanding beauty.
In conclusion, women hold a special place in the society, and their roles must always be acknowledged. However, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby depicts females as both foolish and adulterous. The women in this story represent the ‘New Woman’ who strives to be outstanding and look appealing. In a nutshell, all the three primary female characters are unfaithful and are all used by the men and disregarded.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “The Great Gatsby, By F. Scott Fitzgerald : Contents”. Ebooks.Adelaide.Edu.Au, 1925, https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/f/fitzgerald/f_scott/gatsby/contents.html.