Gender Roles In The Great Gatsby

774 Words4 Pages
Emily Gordon
Mrs. Lockwood
American Literature
Gender Roles in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel set in the 1920’s that illustrates the society of the “Roaring Twenties.” The main characters’ goals, dreams, and roles are influenced greatly by their gender. During this time in America, an unspoken social code and stereotypes often determined the lives of men and women. Although there are more differences than similarities when it came to the responsibilities in the 1920’s, the motivation behind their actions was often the same. Some of the similarities in men and women’s roles in The Great Gatsby include conforming to standards or cultural norms, viewing each other as tools, and using their roles to achieve their goals. In the 1920’s the man’s job was to support the family and handle the business affairs, while the women were required to socialize and look pretty; in The Great Gatsby that is exactly what they do (Morales). The male and female characters of this novel also have in common the fact that they view each other as property or tools to gain status in society. Marrying rich was one’s duty at the time. Daisy was forced to marry “of money, of unquestionable practicality” (151; ch. 13). Tom married to gain a perfect trophy wife, Daisy, and therefore, their duty was fulfilled. Myrtle wants to achieve wealth, so she uses Tom, and Gatsby wants to be with Daisy, so he uses his wealth, each character adding to the cycle.

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