Theme Of Feminism In The Great Gatsby

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Don’t Judge Me By My Sex: Feminist Characters in The Great Gatsby

“Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” Marie Shear wrote this in 1986, but it could not be more relevant to the women in The Great Gatsby. Throughout the novel, men are given unbound freedom; each male character is completely different, with contrasting life experiences and different conflicts. Yet, the women are all quite similar; readers do not even learn about their past unless it directly relates to one of the men. The three major female characters: Daisy, Myrtle, and Jordan are all aspiring to separate, individual goals, but it is their oppression and their resulting fight for equality that truly demonstrates the power that each one of them possess. In The Great Gatsby, each of the major female characters represents a different aspect of feminism: Daisy aspires for freedom, Myrtle craves the freedom to be greedy, and Jordan competes for the freedom of equal rights. To begin with, Daisy’s actions consistently mirror her husband’s, however, Tom is seen as the epitome of success while Daisy is the epitome of a subservient wife. Both characters lie and cheat their way through their love lives and
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Even so, it is the female characters and their power, whether it be exploited or left unused, that drive the plot throughout the entire novel. Daisy’s decisions concerning her love life set up the chain of events that leads to Gatsby’s rise and eventual fall. Myrtle’s lust for economic and social power prevents her from reaching happiness, and Jordan’s spirited independence sets an example for the other women in the novel while also helping her achieve satisfaction. Ultimately, viewing the major female characters in the same light as their male counterparts allows for a better understanding of what feminism really meant in the

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