Critical Analysis of the Great Gatsby

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Critical Analysis of the Great Gatsby

By | September 2012
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Critical Analysis of the Great Gatsby
“I think a woman gets more happiness out of being gay, light-hearted, unconventional, mistress of her own fate…. I want [my daughter] to be a flapper, because flappers are brave and gay and beautiful,” from Zelda Fitzgerald. In the 1920’s Zelda Fitzgerald says she wants her daughter to be a flapper, a woman who smoked cigarettes, drank, drove vehicles, and did not respect what was considered acceptable behavior. Zelda Fitzgerald is the wife of the author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote the book The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald wrote the book during the 1920’s. Fitzgerald expresses the role of some women during the 1920’s through the characters Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle in The Great Gatsby.

The character Myrtle Wilson portrays the role of women as unrealistic, lacking morals, materialistic and dominated by men. Myrtle is in a bad situation because she is married to George Wilson, a poor mechanic who loves his wife. Myrtle probably cheats on George with Tom because she wants to be in a high class. She doesn’t love George the way he loves her. “The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake,” (35) she even tells her sister about how she never should have married George. Myrtle is so unhappy with George because he is poor and can’t provide her the luxurious life she wants. This suggests that some women of the 1920’s only use men to buy them expensive items and they are materialistic. Fitzgerald suggests that Myrtle is unintelligent because she believes Tom would leave Daisy for her. “When they do get married,’ continued Catherine, ‘they’re going West to live for a while until it blows over,” (34) Myrtle’s sister encourages Myrtle to believe Tom will leave Daisy. Myrtle’s character also demonstrates that women of the 1920’s were defined to what type of life they have by who they marry. Since Myrtle married into a lower class, she can never move into a high class. The fact that Myrtle cheats on her...

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