A Green Light For Women Essay

896 words - 4 pages

The American dreams and hope for women in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are overpowered by the dreams of men in the novel. Suppression of the American women in the 1920’s is portrayed in the characters: Daisy, Myrtle, and Jordon.
Daisy’s American dream is a simple carefree relationship with Gatsby however her marriage with Tom complicates and oppresses her dreams. Daisy feels overpowered by Tom when she tells Nick, “The best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (17). Daisy is aware of Tom’s affair with Myrtle yet she accepts it and seems to be in denial. Daisy feels a girl in the 1920’s can only live a sincere and prosperous life if she is a fool. Daisy feels if a women is clever and looks too deeply into her quality of life then she cannot be content and at peace with herself. On Daisy’s wedding day she gets drunk and spills out her emotions about her future marriage with Tom, slurring, “ Tell’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine” (76). The imagery from this scene illustrates a nineteen year old women who has doubts about her marriage. Daisy’s dreams about her future are oppressed by Tom since she is pressured into marrying him. Throughout the novel F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays Daisy as a girl who is weak and is easily manipulated. Daisy’s voice in the novel is overpowered because men are always speaking for her. Nick remarks she, ”Hardly knew what she was saying” (152) while Tom and Gatsby are fighting over Daisy. Daisy at a critical point in the novel, she had an opportunity to change her future yet she remains weak and allows both Gatsby and Tom to speak for her.
Tom’s mistress Myrtle is stronger in character than Daisy. However both her husband and lover, Wilson and Tom, suppress her dreams. Myrtle’s dream is to have a permanent relationship with Tom and to move up the social hierarchy. Myrtle is always searching for a better tomorrow no matter how depressing and colorless matters are in the Valley of Ashes. Myrtle sees a green light and hope for the future in Tom that captures, ”A vitality about her” (25). Myrtle’s own body embodies hope. Tom offers Myrtle both wealth and social status, which she most desires. When Myrtle speaks out against Tom’s will repeating, “Daisy! Dai-“ (37) Tom physically shuts her up. Myrtle lets Tom break her nose because she wants to believe in their future together. Myrtle’s relationship with her husband, Wilson is lifeless, spiritless, and abusive. Myrtle is not willing to tolerate this abuse from her husband since he cannot...

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