Gender Roles in the Roaring 1920s: An Examination of the Women of The Great Gatsby

1795 WordsJul 10, 20188 Pages
The Great Gatsby is often referred to as the great American novel; a timeless commentary on the American Dream. A dream that defines success, power, love, social status, and recreation for the American public. It should be mentioned that this novel was published in 1925, which is a time when the American public had recently experienced some significant changes, including women’s suffrage, which had only taken place 6 years prior to the publication of this novel May of 1919. The women of this era had recently acquired a voice in politics, however, the social world does not always take the same pace as the political world. F. Scott Fitzgerald developed female characters that represented both women in their typical gender roles and their…show more content…
Last, but certainly not least, is Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan’s mistress in the novel. Myrtle differs from Daisy and Jordan in that she is not wealthy, nor independent. Yet she has ambitions, not unlike Ms. Jordan Baker. Myrtle Wilson keeps a gossip magazine called the “Town Tattle” which is her connection to the world of the wealthy socialites, aside from Tom Buchanan. When Myrtle mentions getting a dog for the apartment, and says, “They’re nice to have, a dog” (Gatsby 26) the dog becomes various metaphors at different moments. The dog is Tom Buchanan, Myrtle, Nick, money, and their entire relationship, the way a single room in a house can be of different uses to the people living in it. As Michael Pottorf examines in his essay, “The Great Gatsby: Myrtle's Dog And Its Relation To The Dog--God Or Pound And Eliot,” in the scene where Myrtle’s dog witnesses her affair, “looking with blind eyes through the smoke,” the dog’s vision becomes ethical perception, or the

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