Sexism In The Great Gatsby Essay Example | 648 Words

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Sexism In The Great Gatsby Essay Example

The Great Gatsby is a classic novel, and it is one that most literature-obsessed people should have on their bookshelves. The Great Gatsby is known for being about the American society becoming corrupted following World War One just before The Great Depression. However, while reading, it became obvious that F. Scott Fitzgerald had written this book with a definitively strong anti-feminism view, shown by how women are portrayed throughout the novel.

Fitzgerald has shown throughout the novel that he believes women are foolish, weak, over-emotional, and unintelligent. Only twenty pages into The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald mentioned that in his opinion, “The best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” (Fitzgerald. 20) This could be Fitzgerald suggesting that smart women did not make good housewives.

He may believe this because smart women knew there was something wrong with how women were treated in that period, as they did not have rights. However, those foolish women did not realize that the expectation of slaving away at housework and cooking meals all day was not right, so they were not constantly complaining about not having the right to go off their property.

Seeing as women were almost always on their homestead, no one would know if their husband was to be abusive. “Making a short deft movement Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.” (Fitzgerald. 41) When The Great Gatsby was written, women were often seen as weak, thus leading to their husbands becoming abusive. Tom Buchanan broke Myrtle’s nose because she had not stopped talking about Daisy.

Seeing as Myrtle had not listened to Tom, he got mad and slapped her, resulting in her nose being broken. This could be Fitzgerald subliminally showing that he believed women are weak and could not fight back when their husbands hit or beat them.

In addition to women being weak, it was also portrayed that Fitzgerald believes that women are often over-sensitive and over-emotional. “‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.” (Fitzgerald. 99) This shows Daisy crying over shirts. At the same time, she is pregnant with her daughter Pammy, thus showing a woman being over-emotional as they are generally not something someone would cry over.

  1. Scott Fitzgerald may be suggesting that being sensitive and over-emotional is bad, and it may even suggest that the over-emotional part of a woman is one that he dislikes. As Fitzgerald has shown that he believes women are unintelligent and weak. Over-emotional beings, it would be reasonable to say that, in his opinion, women should not be allowed to have a say in what is happening around them.

In the novel, Gatsby and Tom are seen fighting over Daisy. Gatsby states, “She never loved you, do you hear?” he cried. “She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart, she never loved anyone except me.” (Fitzgerald. 139) Gatsby and Tom never choose to take into consideration Daisy’s thoughts, opinions, or feelings.

This could be seen as Fitzgerald believing that women should not get a say in what happens in their own life. This could also be because, in the 1920s, women were not allowed to vote in an election due to the government not wanting women to have a say in who gets into parliament. This may have affected Fitzgerald and made him believe that gender was a justification for who could and couldn’t have a public opinion.

In conclusion, The Great Gatsby was written from an anti-feminist point of view as F. Scott Fitzgerald had shown that he believed women are unintelligent, weak, and over-emotional beings who do not deserve a public opinion

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