Analyzing Control of the Women in the Great Gatsby

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Dhruti Patel
The Great Gatsby
Period 8
Control…But to What Extent?
Looking back, are Daisy and Myrtle as different as they are portrayed? In the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are two unique influential female characters. The men in their relationships dictate the control they lose and gain throughout the novel. Daisy and Myrtle are different regarding the amount of control in their lives and relationships but their issues become relevant when money is involved. Daisy is described as the “golden girl” in the novel. She was “by far the most popular of all girls in Louisville” (Fitzgerald 74). She is pretty, rich, and charming. Living life in East Egg, it seems like she has it all. But looking deeper, Daisy does not exert much control in her relationships or life. When she marries Tom Buchanan, she marries for money and not love. She has “old money” which meant she was born into wealth and cannot earn all the money she has been given by herself. Then there’s Gatsby. He is someone Daisy can confidently say she has control over. Daisy at first rejects him because of his lack of money but is later mesmerized by his wealth and success. Unfortunately, Daisy is caught between a relationship with Gatsby and a relationship with Tom and can’t do anything about it. Even though she is well aware that Tom is cheating on her, leaving him is not easy at all. Dealing with Pammie, a child with Tom, adds to complications.

Myrtle on the other hand could be called the exact opposite of Daisy. She lives her life in the “valley of ashes”: a “desolate area of land where ash takes the form of houses” (Fitzgerald 23). Having no opportunities along with hardly any money, Myrtle is living in a depressing place. She seems to have more control in her relationships than in her life. Her husband George is completely faithful and good to her. She knows she has all power to control him and take advantage of his obliviousness when she says “he’s so dumb he doesn’t...
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