GENDER ANALYSIS IN F. SCOTT FITZGERALD’S
“THE GREAT GATSBY”
Submitted to fulfill the requirements of General Outlook of Literature Mid-term & Final Exams
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION
POST GRADUATE PROGRAM
STATE UNIVERSITY OF SURABAYA
The Great Gatsby published in 1925, has been considered as a great masterpiece of American fictions until now. It portrays the life style and spiritual affairs of American youths vividly after the First World War. The story tells us a young man who comes from the lower class struggles to fulfill his "ideal" -- to marry a beautiful and also rich lady of the upper class, but finally is abandoned by her. The novel was written and is set in the decade following World War I, which ended in November 1918. The Roaring Twenties, or the Jazz Age, a term coined by Fitzgerald, was a period of enormous social change in America, especially in the area of gender roles (including women’s right). This paper is aimed at analyzing the gender issues in the novel including the roles of gender and femininity and masculinity. DISCUSSION
The Great Gatsby takes place during an extremely new, exciting, but volatile time in American history. Women just received the right to vote, were beginning to not only work, but work in jobs that men had previously been the only source for, and gained new freedoms never felt before in our country. These changes are nowhere more apparent than within the depiction of gender roles and how the characters interact within this novel. Men are constantly depicted as powerful, physical, and dishonest. Women are shown in a terrible light that casts the majority of them as tempting, submissive, passive, and petty. The gender of roles in the Great Gatsby is portrayed within the characters, particularly in Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Jay Gatsby, Jordan, Nick, and Myrtle Wilson. The traditional gender roles in the Great Gatsby also are emphasized in the significance of money and power in relationship. In general, the novel exhibits that the men work to maintenance of the women. Also, men are dominant over men. The term femininity and masculinity are also described in the characters. Related to the femininity, the women in the Great Gatsby are portrayed as powerless, dependent, and men’s object. The women are also materialistic, representative of object, cheats, and fools. It can be seen for Daisy’s daughter, she seems to be regret of having a daughter and says her daughter as a fool. It indicates if the women are less valuable than men. Besides, the fact that Jordan as golf cheater also defines the femininity in the novel. For more analysis in femininity, it will be explained as the following female characters. Masculinity is also related to the stereotype that often described as tough, strong, and powerful. The novel provides the masculinity in describing the male characters; Gatsby, Tom, and Nick. Gatsby, as we know really well, is romantic male. His dream to regain Daisy’s love is a proof of his romanticism. He even asks Nick to arrange the tea party in order he can meet her. He also devotes his whole life to be rich to get Daisy’s attention with hopes that Gatsby would attract to him. Other character, Tom Buchanan, is portrayed to be brutal men and to be dominating to the females. In order to more understand about the gender issues including the masculinity and femininity in the Great Gatsby, the following analysis on each character will be explained: Daisy
Women share much of the focus that the men do in this book; however, they are not always shown in a positive light. In fact, they are often seen as negative things that only hold the men back. As we begin the book, Daisy is seen as a sort of pessimist when mentioning her newly born female baby. When she first offhandedly mentions her daughter, she doesn’t even specify the gender. This could be...
References: Fitzgerald, Francis Scott. 1998. The Great Gatsby. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press
Samkanashvili, Maia. 2014. The Role of Women in the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Journal in Humanities Vol. 2 No. 1 pp. 47-48.
Štrba, Ivan. Emancipated Women of the Great Gatsby. ENGLISH MATTERS II No. pp. 41.
http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/how-men-portrayed-great-gatsby-what-standard-157925 Accessed on January, 2015
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