How Is Myrtle Portrayed In The Great Gatsby

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The human society had always been flawed by some degree, and most would say that it is inevitable and humane to be flawed. While that can hold truth, when the society in turn traps aspiring individuals to conform to certain ideals, it is no longer only flawed, but also corrupted. An inhibiting society is not a true society, and unfortunately that has been the case for much of the history of humanity, with women historically taking the abundance of the burden. The main cause for the continual ad progression of this lies in the teachings of the past generation, in which past stereotypes and ideals are continued to past on, trapping or restricting the next generation. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald criticizes the constraints thrust upon women as dictated by the society stereotypes in the 1920s, and shows how internalizing and adhering to societal values, imprisons the individual and strips them of the qualities that allows them to attain the happiness that they desire. This is seen in Myrtle, who in order to pursue her dreams of wealth, summons her downfall by acting according to the societal pressures imposed on a woman, which had been incarnated within herself. Myrtle was an ambitious woman, who had grown up in the slums and…show more content…
By conforming to the ideals, the only outcome for Myrtle was her death. Maia Samkanashvili sums it up neatly by that “the Great Gatsby manifests that women were still in many ways powerless” if they choose to be. In the end, Myrtle loses her vitality and becomes just another one of the people in the valley of ashes, without that spark of life that initially separated Myrtle from the beaten souls such as Wilson. To be left behind and forgotten. . . . . .
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