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The Accuracy of the Portrayal of the 1920s Woman in “The Great Gatsby” Sample Essay

Many American historiographers have described the 1920s as a “period which crystallized the huge societal alterations initiated in World War I. It was an epoch of unworried release” ( Jenkins ) . One of the most important bequests of this epoch was the relaxation of limitations on adult females. By this decennary. “Victorianism and the bend of the century Gibson Girl were out. and in her topographic point was a saucy. booze-drinking. coffin nail smoke. modern women” ( Rayburn ) . The Great Gatsby accurately depicts. with few exclusions. the adult females of the 1920s as holding a much freer lesson and societal behavior than their predecessors.

Throughout the class of the novel. the character Daisy accurately reflects the 1920s image of the “golden miss. ” Aureate misss were described as heterosexual. fearless. exciting. and slightly narcissistic adult females who were characterized by their “kissing and non stating. ” The adult females possessed “illusory unsophistication” which compelled work forces with a demand to protect them ( Jenkins 70 ) . Fitzgerald describes Daisy as being ” . . . high in a white palace” ( 127 ) . She is “the king’s girl. the aureate girl” ( 127 ) . The fresh upholds this portraiture in both Daisy’s visual aspect and actions. When depicting Daisy. Fitzgerald provinces. “Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it. bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth–but there was an exhilaration in her voice that work forces who had cared for her found hard to bury. . . ” ( 14 ) . Daisy accidentally hints at her demand for protection when the storyteller comments. ” . . . [ she ] held my manus for a minute. looking up into my face. assuring that there was no 1 in the universe she so much wanted to see.

That was a manner she had” ( 13 ) . This emphasizes Daisy’s portraiture of the “golden miss. ” Many of these “golden girls” wore elegant. sexy. authoritative manners. dwelling of light cloths such as chiffon ( Wang. et al. ) . Daisy’s white fancy frocks were characteristic of the “golden girl” and illustrated as “rippling and fluttering” ( Fitzgerald 12 ) because of their light cloths. These adult females besides wore little. snuggly suiting chapeaus called cloches. Daisy is observed have oning one when she is go forthing place and heading for town with Gatsby. Jordan. Nick. and Tom. The work forces exit the house “followed by Daisy and Jordan have oning little tight chapeaus of metallic fabric. . . ” ( 127 ) . Even though the image of the “golden girl” seems slightly self-satisfied. she frequently threw away her proper attitude and engaged in immoral Acts of the Apostless.

The novel accurately depicts the 1920s as a clip of demoralisation for adult females. The accent seemed to switch from political relations and economic sciences to inquiries of freer moral and societal behavior. Suddenly “nice” adult females were openly “smoking. imbibing. dressing themselves in more telling dress. and acting by and large with less cautious restraint than their predecessors” ( Reader’s Digest Association 435 ) . A premier illustration of this in The Great Gatsby is Tom’s party in Chapter two. Along with smoke coffin nails. the adult females. along with the work forces. were imbibing illegal whisky which “Tom brought out. . . from a locked agency door. ” ( 33 ) The adult females at the party lied and spoke with small restraint. Another illustration of the diminishing ethical motives is in Chapter three of the novel. when Nick discovers that Jordan is “incurably dishonest” ( 63 ) . He remembers that she had one time cheated in a golf tourney.

Nick. like other work forces. did non punish adult females for the immoral things they did ; alternatively. Nick disregarded Jordan’s Acts of the Apostless and came to the decision. “Dishonesty in a adult female is something you ne’er blame deeply” ( 63 ) . Yet another illustration of the demoralisation of adult females is the character of Myrtle. During the class of The Great Gatsby. it is ne’er stated or even hinted at that Myrtle feels any guilt over her matter with Tom. It does non look to trouble oneself her that she is aching both Daisy and Mr. Wilson. When Tom is about. Myrtle barely even acknowledges Mr. Wilson’s presence. and surely doesn’t show him that she cares for him ; an illustration of this is in Chapter two when Fitzgerald writes:

She smiled easy and walking through her hubby as if he were a shade shook hands with Tom. looking him flush in the oculus. Then she wet her lips and without turning about spoke to her hubby in a soft. harsh voice: “Get some chairs. why don’t you. so everybody can sit down. ” ( 30 )

The lessening in moral criterions had a widespread impact on many people in the 1920s ( Herald 7 ) . Womans like Daisy and Jordan. who were sing this diminution of morality. seemed to believe it was wholly right to be openly promiscuous. Daisy illustrates this point when. while in a room incorporating other people besides Gatsby and herself. she “pulled his [ Gatsby’s ] face down snoging him on the mouth” ( 122 ) . Daisy goes on to propose that Jordan “kiss Nick too” ( 123 ) . Jordan answers by stating. “What a low. vulgar girl” ( 123 ) ! In response to this statement. Daisy declares. “I don’t care” ( 123 ) ! Another case in the novel where the openness of promiscuousness is present is in Jordan’s talk with Nick: “These things excite me so. ” she whispered. “If you want to snog me at any clip during the eventide. Nick. merely allow me cognize and I’ll be glad to set up it for you” ( 111 ) . Along with this dislocation of ethical motives. adult females besides acquired many new societal autonomies.

As represented in The Great Gatsby. adult females during the decennary of the 1920’s gained many new societal freedoms that brought approximately assorted looks of a new sense of freedom ( Todd and Curti 637 ) . The American adult female after World War I gained freedom from usage and tradition. Nowhere else in the universe could a individual miss be free to take how to pass her money or clip ( Schlesinger 131 ) . “Girls were surely less restrained by conventions and suppressions from making whatever male childs of the same societal set might do” ( Schlesinger 134 ) . For illustration. in The Great Gatsby. the character of Jordan was a well-known golf player. ( 47 ) In the yesteryear. golf. like many other athleticss. was seen as a thing merely a male could prosecute. Although Jordan achieved this new freedom. some work forces still discouraged the act. Tom displays this disheartenment by stating. “She’s a nice miss. . . they oughtn’t to allow her run around the state that way” ( 23 ) . Another freedom adult females received was the freedom of pick affecting matrimony. No longer was marriage the inevitable manner of life ( Schlesinger 134 ) . Many adult females. like Jordan in The Great Gatsby. remained individual by pick.

The annihilating loss of so many work forces during World War I meant that the adult females outnumbered the work forces ; because of this. adult females were able to put higher criterions and had a greater assortment for taking their hubbies. The Great Gatsby displayed this freedom in the character of Mrs. McKee. She about married a “little kyke” ( 38 ) whom she knew was manner below her. Because of her new freedom. Mrs. McKee didn’t settle for this adult male and alternatively waited until person better. like Mr. McKee. came along ( 38 ) . The thought of vote was besides a new freedom for adult females. With the transition of the 19th amendment and a figure of new Torahs. the position of adult females in respects to voting changed ( Herald 11 ) . Surprisingly. though. the upper-class. metropolis adult females voted less in the U. S. during the 1920s: “If they voted at all. they voted like their husbands” ( Anderson 54 ) . The Great Gatsby exemplifies this because. throughout the novel. there is ne’er a reference of the upper-class adult females like Jordan and Daisy vote. In the 1920s. adult females were non merely free to take their businesss. political relations. and couples ; they could besides take their hair colour. Many brunettes bleached their hair because blondes were said to be favored more. In the novel. when talking to two misss at one of Gatsby’s parties. Jordan casually comments. “You’ve dyed your hair since then” ( 47 ) . This shows that deceasing one’s hair was socially acceptable in the society of The Great Gatsby.

While the position of adult females was altering in the 1920s. their functions in relationships. as seen in The Great Gatsby. were. excessively. Until the1920’s. adult females had been expected to remain at place and attention for their households. but these new adult females rejected all that. They craved escapade. and in order to acquire what they wanted. they changed people’s thoughts about what a adult female should be. Feminists would ne’er be rather the same ( Rubel 47 ) . A new adult female came approximately during this clip who rejected the traditional female functions and refused to believe in the superior competency of work forces. She denounced the traditional functions that were antecedently imposed on adult females in sexual and societal relationships ( Todd and Curti 637 ) . An illustration of this new adult female in The Great Gatsby is the character of Myrtle. In the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Wilson. Myrtle is seen as the stronger member. She is a forceful. directed. ambitious spouse while Mr. Wilson is seen as the weak adult male with no way. She displays her power over him when she orders him to acquire some chairs.

He “hurriedly” ( 30 ) goes off and instantly retrieves the chairs. ( 30 ) This shows the reversal of traditional functions in this matrimony. The function of the upper-class homemaker besides changed. Nowhere else did the homemaker have so “wide a border of leisure for amusement. self-development. or public work as her illusion might dictate” ( Schlesinger 131 ) . Daisy was able to make many things at her ain leisure without her hubby. like traveling to Nick’s house for tea. When asked about conveying her hubby. Tom. she innocently replies. “Who is ‘Tom’” ( 88 ) ? Although she had the leisure to make what she pleased. the upper-class homemaker besides experienced some quandary. The upper-class married womans of the post-war epoch “discovered that the exercising of their expressive map frequently decreed an about complete stepping down of matrimonial intimacy” ( Ryan 174 ) . Throughout the novel. Daisy and Tom did non look to be a really intimate. loving twosome. This observation is accented by the fact that both Tom and Daisy had lovers outside the relationship. Tom was rip offing on Daisy with Myrtle ( 19 ) . and Daisy subsequently cheated on Tom with Gatsby ( 122 ) .

In decision. the freer lesson and societal behavior of adult females in the 1920s is right portrayed in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Throughout the novel. many different female characters like Daisy. Jordan. and Myrtle accurately represent the different sorts of adult females in the 1920s. Although each of these characters came from different backgrounds and had different life styles. they all seemed to keep a similarity with the 1920s adult female. This similarity was the fact that all these adult females possessed a grade of freedom in their moral and societal behavior.

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