Overall how does Fitzgerald treat women in his novel?
During the 1920s’ (also known as the Roaring 20s or the Jazz Age) women became more independent post-WW1, as they were finally given the right to vote. The 1920s’ was a decade of ‘the flapper,’ the young women who exercised unprecedented freedom, having short hair, wearing relatively short skirts and applying make-up of a kind that had previously suggested immorality. Greatly increased mobility, in search of pleasure was a characteristic of a flapper. The affluent side of the 1920s’ America was highly visible through the new and expanding media. Furthermore a National Prohibition Act was passed in the U.S. in 1919. It placed limitations upon the production and consumption of alcoholic drinks. Throughout the novel all the women, at some stage are described to be wearing white. In Nick’s first description of Daisy and Jordan he pronounces “they were both in white, and their dresses were rippling” The irony of this is that the colour ‘white’ represents innocence and purity. Both Daisy and Jordan are not innocent by any means. This shows that Fitzgerald clearly tries to portray women as innocent people who throughout the novel clearly show that they are anything but innocent in terms of the way they behave and act towards men and other people. Furthermore the use of the adjective “rippling” connotes to the reader that just like water flows peacefully and smoothly so do Daisy and Jordan but perhaps in a different aspect in terms of their personality and the way they behave. Furthermore women are not acknowledged in the same way that man is in terms of the roles they play. Fitzgerald had quoted “the book contains no important woman character” (qtd. In Turnbull 197) ’i . This opinion shows that when writing this novel Fitzgerald had completely disregarded the female characters and deemed them not to be important. However Fitzgerald had recognized that post-WW1,’ women had an economic power and he had...
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