Women's Power In The Great Gatsby

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Golden blonde hair falls on the cheeks of a pure face. A woman so accustomed to money and privilege, yet a hole in her heart prevents her from happiness. Meanwhile, sweat of poverty covers the skin of one who only has eyes for a man already wed to another. Betwixt them all is a dark haired, athletic woman who cares only for her own well-being. All three of these beauties walk down paths as different as lead is from gold, yet their similarities are uncanny. Through use of comparison between Daisy Buchanan, Myrtle Wilson, and Jordan Baker, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s message about women and feminine power is that having a man deprives the women of their power, ranking higher in social standards deepens the wound of selfishness, and being deceptive…show more content…
With an entitled man in the equation, a woman’s power is typically entirely eliminated. First, despite Myrtle’s assertiveness with Tom, Fitzgerald writes, “’Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ shouted Mrs. Wilson. ‘I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai-’” (37). Myrtle attempts to appear powerful in the eyes of Tom, however, Tom makes sure to advertise that the real power is in his hands. During Myrtle and Tom’s argument, he breaks her nose for the sole purpose of sending her the message that as long as she continues to have an affair with him, her feminine power will not be tolerated by him. Myrtle is accustomed to living an underprivileged life where feminine power engulfs her, but Tom is too egotistical to allow Myrtle to speak with such authority to him. Similarly, Gatsby’s need for assurance from Daisy pressures her into revealing to Tom that she never loved him (Fitzgerald 132). Deep down, Daisy knows that she truly did love Tom once, but Gatsby’s assertiveness and persistence drives her over the edge to telling Tom that what the two of them shared meant nothing to her. Daisy’s attribute of being a pushover is revealed immensely because she refuses to stand up for herself. Daisy is used to enabling Tom to constantly control all aspects of her life, and that leaves her powerless in society. Conversely, Jordan presents her feminine power during Gatsby’s party when she tells Nick that the group they were associating with was too polite for her and that she wants to go find the host (Fitzgerald 45). Typically, in the higher class, the women do whatever the men deem appropriate or interesting to them, but Jordan, being the independent woman she is, chooses her own paths in life. Jordan is not attracted to the conversation at hand; therefore, she is going to present her feminine power and walk away from the cult of upperclassmen to pursue anything that she wants to, and no one is going to stop her.
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