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A New Role For Women In The Great Gatsby

1890 words - 8 pages

Throughout history, women have had to overcome many setbacks. They have gone through a lot of mistreatment in the process of changing the idea of how a woman should dress, act, and participate in activities outside of the home. The role of women changed drastically in the 1920s. This change presented women with new freedoms in the workforce, at home, and in fashion. Women who took advantage of the new opportunities and independence in the 1920s are known as flappers. The flapper lifestyle is seen most clearly through Jordan Baker, a professional golfer and friend of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Through his characterization of Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker, F. Scott Fitzgerald highlights the changing role of women during the 1920s in The Great Gatsby.
The 1920s allowed women to have a lot of new freedom, but women were still presented with setbacks that kept them from fully experiencing it. The Clash of Cultures in the 1910s and 1920s website explains how women were more restricted in how they dressed before the 1920s. It describes how women were forced to wear corsets and frilly clothes that were more conservative. This conservative way of dress changed during the 1920s with the flappers (“Image and Lifestyle”). The website goes on to explain that even though women had many new opportunities during the time period, they were still not given important roles at work. “Although the labor movement thrived in the early twentieth century, by 1920 a small fraction of women in the workforce had union jobs, and rarely did the movement take up issues of concern to working women or allow them leadership roles” (“Work, Education, and Reform”). The Clash of Cultures website also explains that there was some opposition to the new freedoms given to women. Organizations such as the Young Women’s Christian Association offered classes and encouragement to do more traditional female jobs. Many parents did not like the new independence women had because it meant that they would no longer have as much control over their daughter’s lives (“Work, Education, and Reform”). There were many setbacks to the women in the 1920s, but they were also presented with a lot of new freedom.
Women in the 1920s were given new opportunities and freedom that women never had before. The Clash of Cultures website explains the new freedom that women had in the 1920s. Single women began to live separate from their parents and were known as “women adrift”. These women lived in the working class parts of town (“Image and Lifestyle”). The US History: Pre-Colombian to the New Millennium website explains that women were presented with new job opportunities outside of the home in the 1920s. Due to the growing popularity of department stores, many jobs arose for women in retail. Many women also took up jobs as phone operators. The website went on to describe that women also experienced a lot of new freedom during the 1920s because they had just been given the right to vote...

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