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Discuss The Importance Of Gender And Race In "The Great Gatsby" And "The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"

2476 words - 10 pages

The importance of gender and race in "The Great Gatsby" and "The adventures of Huckleberry Finn" are integral, as it accurately portrays many common views and beliefs of society at the time these novels were composed. Within these two novels, many dominant tropes in American writing are also explored. Some examples of the dominant tropes in these particular novels are alienation, independence or freedom, and democracy and equality.Within "The Great Gatsby" by F.Scott Fitzgerald, there is a strong focus on gender, and the absence of race throughout the text is extremely significant as it demonstrates the societal views of race of the time. Throughout the text, there are only few mentions of race, or 'black' people, and this demonstrates the view of black people, as being second-class citizens, and not worthy to write about."The Great Gatsby" was written in 1925 and set in the 1920s. At this point in history, women were seen as the weaker sex, and although American women had the right to vote, they did not play an important role in American politics at this stage. Women were expected to be obedient to their partners, to marry and to bear their children. Although the 1920s encompassed ideas of the "New Woman", they were still viewed as domestic servants. Like black people in America, women were also viewed as second-class citizens. This has been precisely portrayed in "The Great Gatsby".In "The Great Gatsby" the female characters are portrayed as inferior to the male characters, and apart from Jordan, the other female characters are displayed as being completely reliant on men. With the exception of Jordan, it appears that none of the females within the text have their own point of view. The women in the text, in particular Daisy, are presented as objects of male adornment, pursuit and domination. Daisy is your ideal mentally vacant 'bimbo' and has married Tom, in order to be guided by him, and cared for. The reader is first confronted with Daisy's frivolity with her pointless ramblings, and laughter. Particularly when she states that Nick 'reminds her of a rose, and absolute rose' (p.21) but then turns to Jordan for confirmation. It is as if Daisy constantly requires others praise, and for someone to agree with her on every word she says.The importance of gender in order to portray the views of society in the 1920s is made apparent with Daisy discussing the birth of her child. While discussing this with Nick, Daisy explains that Tom was 'God knows where' (p.23). This demonstrates how Tom sees Daisy as his possession, he does not truly love her or he would be with her at their child's birth. Upon discovering that her child is a girl, she states 'I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.' (P23-24) This shows that Daisy fully comprehends the society she lives in, and that it is easier, and expected of women not to be opinionated and all that is expected of them is to...

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