Is Fitzgerald’s Portrayal of 1920’s Women Entirely Negative? Essay

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Although the women reflect “foolishness” on the outside, The Great Gatsby provides several examples in which women empower themselves despite their inferior status. Although Fitzgerald may have viewed women as a weaker sex, several females in the novel demonstrate an underlying power through their relationships, and display some admirable qualities. Although they are not able to achieve the same amounts of success as men in the society; by attaching themselves to a suitable mate allows them to share in the success of the men. In the patriarchal, greed-driven society of 1920’s portrayed in “The Great Gatsby”, the female characters are controlled and possessed by the men; yet, as illustrated through Daisy and Myrtle, by accepting this…show more content…
Daisy understands she is limited in society due to her gender, so she seeks out relationships in which the man is providing stability: “Jay Gatsby pursues Daisy knowing that her sense of happiness and the good life depends on money and property” (John Callahan). Daisy’s sentimentality is unimportant compared to the financial security she is able to obtain through a relationship, so Gatsby realizes he must obtain the money and social standing Daisy desires. Although Daisy is at a disadvantage, she uses her sexuality in order to find security for the future. She makes love to Gatsby because she believes he can provide her with a secure future, yet, as she learns, he is not as established as he portrays himself to be, so when Gatsby leaves for war, Daisy continues her search for stability.
Daisy finds the security she desires with Tom Buchanan. Since Daisy feels vulnerable as a single woman with an unsure future, she pursues a different relationship with a man who has social and financial stability: “Daisy’s pursuit of happiness in the form of her dangerous, defiant love for Gatsby surrenders to the palpability of a safe, material, unequal propertied union with Tom Buchanan” (John Callahan). As discussed in the previous paragraph, Daisy understands that love is not the most important aspect of a relationship; instead, as illustrated
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