Role of Women in the Great Gatsby Essay

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Women in The Great Gatsby In The Great Gatsby, F-Scott Fitzgerald conveys a prevailing theme in regards to the role of women. The novel takes place in the greater area of New York City, from the city itself to the valley of ashes to Long Island. The plot is centralized around the character Jay Gatsby who created his wealth from nothing. The narrator, Nick Carraway describes Gatsby with “there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity of the promises of life.”(p.2). Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby are the two principal characters to the novel with obvious importance. However, when it comes to the female characters, Fitzgerald shows a contrasting display of their importance. Even amongst critics in the modern era, the role of gender in Gatsby is still highly debated. About The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald claimed, “The novel contains no important female characters.” Fitzgerald is not completely saying that he does not value the parts that Myrtle, Daisy, and Jordan play. However, he does depict the role of women as extremely insignificant. Fitzgerald, through Myrtle, Jordan, and Daisy, inadvertently conveys a constant message that the role of women in society is one of great insignificance and inferiority. The insignificant and inferior role of women is first displayed through the character of Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle is first introduced as the mistress for Tom Buchannan, a man of great inherited wealth. One prime example is early on in the plot when Nick and Tom go into the city accompanied by Myrtle and other women. The group has endured several alcoholic drinks at that, and later on Myrtle begins to act out. Given the circumstances of Tom’s marriage, she starts screaming, “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ shouted Mrs. Wilson. ‘I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai—‘ Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.”(p. 37)
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