The Great Gatsby, no important woman character? Essay

1743 Words Nov 8th, 2013 7 Pages
In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Daisy Buchanan is an important woman character, but only in relation to Jay Gatsby’s dream. Ever since Gatsby had come back from the army, he had longed to have Daisy back in his life, and so everything he did and built up was in some way for her (e.g. his house and the parties he threw). Nick says: “He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy” (1). But apart from Daisy being the ultimate prize in Gatsby’s dream, she doesn’t really seem to have any other importance in the novel.

However, in the book The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, Penelope is an important woman character, as well
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This is similar to The Penelopiad, when Odysseus commits adultery on his quest to save Helen, it seems to just be accepted.
Daisy says “the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (5), and she knows that Tom has been seeing another woman, but nothing much is done about the situation. Daisy saying that the best thing a girl can be is a beautiful little fool, reflects society at that time, that it was all still full of inequalities.

There is no positive female character in the novel The Great Gatsby. Feminist critic Judith Fetterley who is quoted by Parkinson says “Ownership of women is invoked as the index of power” (8). At the start of the novel Daisy seems to have potential to be a nice and good person, through the seduction of her voice and the warmth you naturally feel from her. It is near the start of the novel we find that Tom is having an affair with another woman, and we feel slight sympathy for her. “Tom’s got some woman in New York” (9). As the novel progresses, Daisy ruins the potential she had. We then find her to be manipulative and sneaky. Roger Lewis says we are ‘seduced by her simpering mockery of her husband, captivated by her posture and the romantic glow Fitzgerald has surrounded her, but Nick pulls us back. “The instant her voice broke off…I felt the basic insincerity of what she had said. It made me uneasy, as though the whole evening had been a trick”’ (10).

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