How Women Are Portrayed in the Great Gatsby

1002 words 5 pages
The Great Gatsby, and it gives us an insight into the gender roles of past WW1 America. Throughout the novel, women are portrayed in a very negative light. The author’s presentation of women is unflattering and unsympathetic. The women are not described with depth. When given their description, Fitzgerald appeals to their voice, “ she had a voice full of money”, their looks “her face was lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes, and a bright passionate mouth”, and the way in which they behave, “ ’They’re such beautiful shirts’ she sobbed”, rather than their feelings or emotions, for example, Daisy is incapable of genuine affection, however she is aimlessly flirtatious. In the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald presents all …show more content…

The materialism of the three female characters is one of the most important characteristics of the women as it explains some of the decisions they ultimately take. Evidence for Daisy’s love of money is that Tom bought her love with a $300,000 necklace, and Gatsby strives to win her back through acquiring his mansion and tailored shirts. She also married Tom instead of Gatsby because “rich girls don’t marry poor boys”, and again repeats herself when she chooses the security of Tom finally, once she heard Gatsby was a “common swindler who’d have to steal the ring he put on her hand”. She is presented to represent the power of money-particularly the old money of America. Fitzgerald portrays her love for money and material goods with her awe at Gatsby’s shirts.
Myrtle’s decision to become another man’s mistress was also down to materialism, as it was when she saw Tom’s “dress suit and patent leather shoes”, she “couldn’t keep my eye’s off him”. Fitzgerald presents Myrtle as someone who is preoccupied with material things and driven by consumerism, “She lets four taxi cabs drive away before she selects a new one”. Tom provides her with the material yearnings, of which her husband who “borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in” fails to do. Myrtle’s decisions, consequential of her materialism, are to raise her social status, and in such desperation it leads her to sleep with


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