Essay on Vilification of Women in American Literature

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Vilification of Women in American Literature

The Vilification of Women in The Great Gatsby and Ethan Frome
Women have played an important role in American literature. Unfortunately, this role was often negative, without cause to be so. Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby are examples of American literature in which women are needlessly vilified. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald presents three women in an especially bad light. Daisy Fay Buchanan, the narrator's cousin, is the most obvious. Daisy is selfish and materialistic. She married her husband, Tom, because he was wealthy when he proposed to her. She ignored her true love, Jay Gatsby, because he was poor; this fact is evident when the two
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Nick asks about the little girl, and Daisy's only response on her first-born daughters life is "O, I suppose she talks and eats- and everything" (Fitzgerald 21). When Gatsby is visiting Daisy at her house, she only brings the little girl around because she "wanted to show her off" (Fitzgerald 123). Daisy uses her daughter to impress people, and does not have any real interest in the child's daily activities; these actions show her self-absorbed nature.
Daisy appears immoral in The Great Gatsby. There is a "corruption which underlies Daisy's world" (Goldenessays 1). She marries for money, turning herself basically into a prostitute. She is married, but one afternoon when Gatsby visits her at her house, "she got up and went over to Gatsby, and pulled down his face to kiss him on the mouth" (Fitzgerald 122). She considers leaving her husband for Gatsby. It is said that Daisy speaks in a "low thrilling voice…only to make people lean toward her" (Fitzgerald 13). She gossips about whatever she wants, and believes everything she hears; when speaking to Nick about his rumored engagement, she said that she "heard it from three people so it must be true" (Fitzgerald 24). Daisy's gossipy personality makes her appear uncaring for those around her.
In addition to her lack of morals, Daisy is stupid. When the reader meets Daisy for the first time, she complains that Tom is "reading deep