The Women of the Great Gatsby
In today’s society, women are viewed very differently from when they were 100 years ago. Today, women have the opportunity to stand up for themselves and voice their opinion, but it has not always been that way. The women in The Great Gatsby have just gained the ability to vote, but they still aren’t taken seriously. They are still looked at as someone who will cook, clean, and have children. Women in the society of The Great Gatsby were viewed as objects. But because of their social class, they allow themselves to be looked at that way. Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle were all just pieces to the game that men play.
Daisy. A beautiful, rich, colonial dame. What man wouldn’t be interested in her? She had a romantic summer fling with a young, handsome, lieutenant named Jay Gatsby. He was the man of her dreams and they fell madly in love, but he had one slight flaw to him. He was poor. Once Jay left for the war Daisy married another man. A much wealthier man by the name of Tom Buchanan. It broke Gatsby’s heart when he got the letter telling him that she found another man. After Daisy and Tom were married they had a child together. When Daisy found out that her baby was a girl she cried and said I hope she’ll be a fool. That’s the best thing a girl can be in the world. A beautiful little fool(17). The Author shows that in the 1920s women weren’t human beings with opinions and feelings, rather they are just prizes that men can flaunt. Men are also portrayed as more valuable and successful. Daisy can be described as a ditz because she has money. If she didn’t then she would have to hold a job or be helpful in society. Her daughter will never know the true value or meaning or hard work, and neither will she. She was too consumed in her love life and it definitely took the front burner over raising a good child.
Jordan Baker. She’s a famous, wealthy, beautiful golf player. She’s a very close friend of Daisy’s. Daisy thought Jordan and Nick would make a perfect couple and even said she’d arrange a marriage for the two. When Nick and Jordan first met he immediately took an interest to her, and very quickly they became close friends. They attended parties together at Gatsby’s house and dwelled in the gossip between Daisy, Gatsby, and Tom. Sportsmanship? I think not. Nick soon became aware of the fact that Jordan was very dishonest. She lied and cheated at her golf tournaments. Frequently Nick attended said gold tournaments and he let her drive his car to the parties held afterward. Nick also discovered that Jordan is a terrible driver. You’re a rotten driver I protested (Nick). Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn’t to drive at all. I am careful. (Jordan) No you’re not. Well other people are, she said lightly. (58) The Author portrays women as reckless and unintelligent. Because Jordan is famous and wealthy she expects the world to revolve around her. Everyone else is supposed to be careful, but not her. She cheats and lies her way to success. She will never appreciate what she has, she doesn’t work hard and never will. Everything gets handed to her on a silver platter. She will never be a useful member of society because she can always fall back on her money.
Myrtle is the elephant of the book. Everyone knows and has heard of her but no one talks about her. She’s Tom scandalous lover. Daisy, Nick, and Jordan all know about Tom’s affair with Myrtle. Myrtle is a stereotypical snobby girl that everyone knows. She expects to get what she wants when she wants. She spends Tom’s money and time in New York. She even has an apartment in New York just so they can get away and spend time in privacy. Tom treats her good, but not her husband. Tom silently taunts George with the fact that his wife is having an affair with him. Tom spends his money at George’s shop, and he hangs a car over his head. He promises a car for George to work on and make some money on, but never gives it to him. Tom’s behavior and attitude are mirrored in Myrtle’s. She is very ignorant and selfish. “”I told that boy about the ice.”” Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. “”These people! You have to keep after them all the time (32). This very clearly shows that she expects everything to be done for her. She is too perfect to lift a finger. She also has everything handed to her on a silver platter. She will never work hard because of Tom’s money. He gives everything to her, and she accepts it without a thank you. Myrtle herself is not rich, in fact, she is rather poor, but she relies on George’s hard work so she can have a lazy lifestyle. Myrtle is not self-sufficient and relies on other people’s money to survive.
Women of lower class during the time era of The Great Gatsby actually played a role in society and helped out, but women of money were worthless and lazy. They had no morals or good ethics. They cared about themselves and what they wanted. Many of them relied on other people for the things they needed to survive. Daisy is a ditz, Jordan is a lair, and Myrtle is selfish. These women are leeches and played no role in the society of The Great Gatsby.