Examples Of Femininity In The Great Gatsby

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Throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby, imaginary ideals of perfection become widely apparent and consume some characters ' lives, leading to their downfalls later in the book. By creating a self-image that differs from reality and refuses other people 's opinions, these characters ' unrealistic goals reinforce their selfishness. Daisy 's traditional representation of femininity as charming and passive constantly makes her indecisive. Nick 's constant judgements about other people alienate himself from every character in the book. Because of Gatsby 's obsession with everything being like his past relationship with Daisy, he blows his one and only chance to win her over for the rest of his life. When Daisy, Nick, and Gatsby form …show more content…
While Nick eats and speaks with Daisy, she talks about her daughter and opens up about her feminine ideal: "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). Her ideal of a "beautiful little fool" means that a woman needs to appear dumb and strive for physical beauty. Moreover, her description of "little" reinforces the passivity of women and allows Tom control over any of her decisions—most important her decision between Gatsby, who won her heart, and Tom, who appeals to her practical mind. When Daisy tries to pick Gatsby, Tom exposes Gatsby 's business partners and sources of money, leaving Daisy with no other option except Tom: "Her frightened eyes told that whatever intentions, whatever courage she had had, were definitely gone" (Fitzgerald 135). She appears "frightened" because Gatsby—her true love—misled her about his background. Her lack of "courage" stems from her realization that Gatsby takes advantage of her and that she never has a true option between choosing Gatsby or Tom. As a result, Gatsby and Tom fight over Daisy with no regard to her opinion, which makes her an object. Her rigid insistence on achieving the perfect ideal for women dehumanizes her and exemplifies what women need to …show more content…
Nick describes how he thinks Gatsby felt about his night with Daisy: "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything" (Fitzgerald 95). Gatsby creates a "colossal" fantasy based on the premise that everything can return to their previous stage together five years ago. When Gatsby thinks about Daisy constantly over that long period of time, he magnifies his "dream" of pleasure to an unattainable state. In the closing sentences of the book, Nick depicts the disappointment of Gatsby 's careless optimism in the green light: "It eluded us then, but that 's no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" (Fitzgerald 180). When Gatsby seeks to restore his past with Daisy, he cannot win her—no matter how hard he tries—because so much has changed, including her marriage to Tom. Nobody can exactly rebuild the past, and Gatsby fails to understand that because of his hope. Without understanding the natural reasons that prevent Daisy from staying with him, Gatsby lives in his imagination, which tragically results in his failure and death.

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