Jordan Baker's Portrayal Of Women In The Great Gatsby

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Historians agree that feminism’s fate broke through in the 1920’s, yet this reformation of social justice was not been embraced by a majority of Americans. In this decade, women were finally allowed to vote, they cut their hair short, and rebelled against the norms of society; however, misogyny remained mentally within the community through media, politics, and even in literature. In 1925, five years after the flappers movement was initiated in America, F. Scott Fitzgerald published his most reputable novel: The Great Gatsby, where the misportrayal of women is apparent within the distinctive natures of his characters. Fitzgerald’s novel focuses on the complexities of American society and the struggles to attain dreams, all while enduring the…show more content…
Baker’s physical description completes the physical stereotype of masculine women; Nick describes Jordan as slender, small-breasted, and that she threw her body “backwards at the shoulders like a young cadet” (14). In similar fashion, Jordan has the one female role that challenges Fitzgerald’s conventional image of women. At the outset, her name is ambiguous, as Jordan is recognized as being a typically masculine name. Most importantly, Jordan has independence through her own financial stability. Yet Jordan’s bold and modern style is neglected, and she is regarded inferiorly. For instance Tom, a patriarchal capitalist, disagrees with the level of independence Baker has, saying of her family, “they oughtn’t to let her run around the country this way” (22). Additionally, because of Jordan’s gender, she is forgiven for things about her nature that she cannot control. Nick Carraway, the ‘impartial’ narrator of the book, blatantly evokes sexism in his observations of Baker by saying that “dishonesty in a woman is something you never blame deeply” (64). Nick suggests that Baker is valued beneath men, by receiving lenient treatment as such. Baker’s portrayal sends a message to the reader from Fitzgerald of the generally low placement of women in…show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald reinforces the oppression of women through his menial depiction of women. Fitzgerald uses his character, Daisy Buchanan, to represent the selfish and shallow perspectives on upper-class women during his era. He contrasts this image of wealthy society by using Myrtle Wilson, a needy mistress, to manifest the greed existent within the women at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Jordan Baker embodies a highly modernized and independent female during the time, yet she is constantly treated unequal to men. Fitzgerald creates females that are subjected to constant inferiority in his novel, rather than giving them more original characteristics. If society were more accepting towards independent women, there would have been a possibility for deeper characterization in Fitzgerald’s novel, with more enriched complexities rooted in the plot without the shackles of patriarchal
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