2.2.2. Hostility in The Great Gatsby
That the novel shows certain hostility towards women is seen also in other female characters of the novel, namely Jordan Baker and Myrtle Willson. According to Parkinson, every time when the women of The Great Gatsby make an effort to move outside the social conventions of their class and all three suffer for it (92):
Myrtle Wilson is ripped open and destroyed; Jordan Baker seems to have lost not only her integrity but also her femininity and Daisy is tempted three times to break out, but each time is easily dissuaded, and returns to her captive position, retaining it finally through the collusion of Gatsby and Nick, who do not reveal that she was driving the car that night but was unable to control the powerful vehicle (92).
Myrtle Wilson and Jordan Baker are counterparts of Daisy Buchannan and they are used to help build Daisy’s character to the fullest. However, from the historical point of view they also present the changing role of woman in the American society. Therefore, there is an aggression in Jordan Baker’s emancipation and a vulgarity in the flirtation of Myrtle Wilson (67). Jordan Baker is economically independent, but is, therefore defeminized. Myrtle Wilson indulges in adultery, but is therefore punished by being ripped open.
Daisy Buchanan, however presents the inability of the flapper to be free because she still plays men’s game and seeks man’s protection and help. Therefore, she is punished as a scapegoat of the