the early 1920’s: lavish parties, intimidating men, beautiful women, and the strive to
capture the “American dream.” The role of women in The Great Gatsby is paradoxical;
although they appear independent, and at times daring in their romantic lives, the women
of The Great Gatsby are vulnerable and driven purely by their economic situations. In the
novel, three seemingly diverse characters, Myrtle, Daisy, and Jordan, each represent
unique female roles. Although presented as dissimilar beings, the women of The
Great Gatsby possess one undeniable connection: the effect of money.
In the first chapter of the novel, the reader is introduced to Daisy Buchanan. A
beautiful yet seemingly mindless creature, Daisy represents the paragon of traditional
femininity and vulnerability. Although Daisy appears superficial and materialistic, the
reader learns that at one point in Daisy’s life, she was driven by love and emotion instead
of by wealth and status. As a young woman, Daisy promised the destitute soldier, Jay
Gatsby, that she would wait for him after the war. However, Daisy grows impatient and
finds affluence and prosperity through her marriage to the violent and misogynistic, Tom
Buchanan. “‘Tom’s getting very profound,’ said Daisy with an expression of
unthoughtful sadness. ‘He reads deep books with long words in them’” (13). Although
Daisy knows that she is not a fool, to her, the ideal woman is unintelligent and
subservient to her male counterpart. While Daisy at times acknowledges the distorted
values of her generation, she fails to challenge them, and instead finds herself at the heart
of their error.
Tom’s married mistress, Myrtle, views Tom as her escape from poverty and
mediocrity. Although Myrtle is viewed as selfish and hurtful, she is no worse than Tom
or Gatsby; she is simply trying to… [continues]
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(2011, 03). Female Role in Great Gatsby. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Female-Role-In-Great-Gatsby-1585275.html
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“Female Role in Great Gatsby.” StudyMode.com. 03, 2011. Accessed 03, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Female-Role-In-Great-Gatsby-1585275.html.