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Blatant Double Standards In The Great Gatsby: Why Relationships Were So Complex

1828 words - 7 pages

Dana Dabbousi English 10 Ms. GramoliniApril 29th, 2013The Great GatsbyPrompt: Fitzgerald uses his novel to portray and critique a number of male-female relationships, some married, some not. Analyze the nature of male-female relationships in the novel (use at least 3 separate examples).'The Great Gatsby' has many great examples of the newly introduced types of male-female relationships during the 1920s. Many of these relationships are between already married couples and adultery is shown to be increasingly more common. Before these times, marriage was the only acceptable way a woman could be in a relationship with a man. Dating wasn't predominantly conventional, and adultery was definitely not tolerated. In this book, we see many different forms of male-female relationships: Daisy and Tom are married but are both committing adultery with their partners Gatsby and Myrtle, while Myrtle is also cheating on her poor husband George Wilson. We also see Nick and Jordan dating, however as Daisy mentions early in the book, it would not be right for them to get married because he was not rich, she suggested they simply had an affair, and only jokes about them getting married when she says, "I'll arrange a marriage. Come over often, Nick, and I'll sort of-oh-fling you together. You know-lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat, and all that sort of thing--"Class structure was very important during these times, there was to be no socializing between classes; the rich were horrified of the idea of marrying anyone below them. However, the poor were desperate to marry the rich, thinking they deserved a better life than what they grew up with. We see this when Myrtle marries Wilson saying, "I married him because I thought he was a gentleman,' … 'I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe." Myrtle was of very low class, just like her husband, but was trying so hard to squirm her way into the upper class, and by finding a dog of a man like Tom, who was as rich as she needed him to be and as unfaithful as she was, she begins cheating on her husband, only staying with him because Tom wouldn't leave his wife for her. Myrtle does have a feeling that Tom won't leave his upper class wife for her, a very lower class woman, and so we realize she is very jealous of Daisy and how, according to Myrtle, the fact that she was born rich makes Tom want to stay with her. We see how jealous Myrtle is when "her eyes, wide with jealous terror, were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be his wife," showing how badly she wanted to be with Tom and how unfair she felt it was for her to be second best to Daisy because of her wealth.In the case of Gatsby and Daisy's secret relationship, Gatsby never meant for Daisy to commit adultery for them to be together. The issue of class structure is also a part of their relationship and why they couldn't really be together. Gatsby was born poor; he came...

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