Plight Of Women In The Great Gatsby

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Restricted by societal expectations, would you give up your dignity for a chance at prestige and wealth? Given the opportunity to become someone high within the social hierarchy lead people to blindly chase after the American Dream. The social upheaval of the roaring twenties drove many to become defiant of their gender roles, women especially. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald demonstrates how women either superficially exemplify or defy feminine ideals based on their own self-interests during the 1920s. Through the characters of Daisy, Myrtle and Jordan who are seemingly very different, Fitzgerald illustrations their commonalities when it comes to exploiting their sexuality in pursing wealth.

Daisy Buchanan
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Like Daisy she uses her sexuality to get her places; however her demise clearly proves the differences between those born with money and those without. Having believed that cheating on her husband with Tom would move her up in society shows her desperation for a shot at the American Dream. This plan backfires on her as she is merely seen as a sex object to Tom. Living in the Valley of Ashes, she is eager to get out, as her husband “wasn’t fit to lick [her] shoe” (73). This evidently shows Myrtle’s ignorance and selfishness when it comes to love. Similarity to Daisy, Myrtle believes the best thing a women can be is a trophy wife. The 1920s was a time for women to become free with their sexualities but women like Myrtle that were not in the upper class are scorned for their overt sexuality. Due to the fact that Myrtle is a woman may be the reason why Gatsby for the most part was successful in pursing wealth and not her. She realizes the only way for her to achieve her goals is through a man because of the preconceived notions of women and their role in society. Myrtle’s femininity and sexuality is revealed to be the cause of her death as it shows her breast and mouth torn open. Myrtles actions were not so different of Daisy however she is the one who suffers due to her lower class

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