Essay On Gender Roles In The Great Gatsby

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The 1920’s was an amazing decade in american history. Life was great and the economy was booming. It didn’t seem that anything could ruin life at this point, but for men things were about to change and for most that was not good. Women were trying to change their role in society from just being in the house, taking care of children, and pleasing their husbands. They did this by cutting their hair short and wearing loose fitting dresses. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, changing gender roles are shown through the female characters and how they act towards and get treated by men.

Daisy, Tom Buchanan’s wife, changed her looks to the short hair and loose dresses but was still in a place where she was being dominated by her husband and
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She was with Tom, Nick, and her friend in New York at an apartment, “‘Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ Shouted Mrs. Wilson. ‘I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai—‘ making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.” (Fitzgerald 37) This quote is showing once again how Tom is physically dominant over a female by hitting her when she mentions his wife’s name. Mrs. Wilson shows how she is under a sort of spell because after this happens she goes back to loving Tom. Myrtle was trying to show some freedom when she said she could say Daisy whenever she wanted which made Tom angry so he asserted dominance by hitting her and breaking her nose. It also shows that this was an acceptable thing to do since no one stepped in or did anything after Tom hit Myrtle. This shows that if there was any type of freedom showed by women, men would try to shut it down as fast as possible. Later in the book Myrtle is at home with her husband George, “‘Beat me!’ he heard her cry. ‘Throw me down and beat me, you dirty little coward!’” (Fitzgerald 137) This shows that Myrtle Wilson wants to be dominated by men but she is also cheating on her husband which is unladylike and making her more like men. These are the two characteristics that were fighting in the 1920’s and they were both being shown through one female
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