Gender Roles In The Great Gatsby

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The novel; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, explores multiple themes. One specific theme, however, that stands out can be considered the gender roles portrayed throughout the novel. Specifically, his portrayal of female characters, such as Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker and Myrtle Wilson. In some respects, Fitzgerald represents gender roles in his novel, in quite a traditional manner. In the novel, men are responsible for earning money, so that they can then care for the women. Men are dominant over women, especially in the case of Tom, who constantly emphasizes his physical strength in order to subdue them. The only hint of a role reversal is in the pair of Nick and Jordan. Jordan 's unisex name and laid back style masculinize her more than any other predominant female character. However, in the end, Nick does exercise his dominance over her by calling an end to the relationship. The women in the novel are a unique group, because they do not fit into the traditional portrayal of innocent and pure figures, rather, they are depicted as a stark contrast to the norms and in no way represent the pure figures women were often perceived to be. However, they do still retain evidence of conforming to a patriarchal society, through Fitzgerald’s own desire to refrain from straying too far from societal ‘norms’, and also through a strong reliance on material needs, by the female characters.

Psychologically, Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle are obviously quite different from each
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