F.Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essay

2201 words - 9 pages

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the roaring twenties is shown as an eminent time of hope for rekindled love. The Buchanans make their entrance into the novel as the ideal wealthy family. Daisy, beautiful and charming, has everything a woman should be expected to want in the world. With Tom as her husband, she is ensured a carefree life filled with glamour and extravagance (Fitzgerald 6). The heated summer of 1922 New York brings the arrival of the great Jay Gatsby, Daisy’s past lover. Determined to win back his true love, Gatsby interferes with Daisy and Tom’s marriage and ignites a scandal that disrupts the Buchanan’s marriage, resulting in both conflict and tragedy (Fitzgerald 130). Through the shallow characterization of Daisy Buchanan and her individual relationships with both Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminates the conflicting gender roles between men and women in society and undermines the ideals of feminism.
Daisy Buchanan is introduced as the “golden girl” in the novel (Fitzgerald 120). She has an aura and charm that is magnetic and alluring to men. Her beauty is like no other, truly reinforcing her higher status and reputation of wealth (Fitzgerald 9). Daisy “is portrayed as typical of the women of her social class and status of the period,” making her a perfect representation of women in society (Overview: The Great Gatsby). The name “Daisy” compares her to the imagery of a beautiful flower with “a gold center and white petals” and thus presents her as the “princess dressed in white” (Weshoven). The symbolic meaning behind Daisy’s name characterizes her solely on her beauty, emphasizing the significance of her physical appearance. By showing that Daisy’s central defining feature is her beautiful face and body, the importance of whom she is in the society surrounding her is set upon her exterior traits. Fitzgerald associates Daisy with “the color white, which is the color she always wears” in order to imply that she is someone “insubstantial” and “ethereal” (Overview: The Great Gatsby). Daisy’s characterization and correlation with the color white makes her appear as pure and elegant. This description adds to the importance of her beauty and physical appearance. Moreover, she becomes a “hollow woman” and “empty character” of shallowness with little emotional development (Overview: The Great Gatsby). Daisy’s characterization thus further portrays that women were expected to be incapable of feeling more than what was already predetermined by society. As a young women, Daisy would find herself “keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men” who were drawn to her undying beauty and charm (Fitzgerald 151). Although she was able to capture the attention of many men, these men only wanted her because she was beautiful. Fitzgerald actually never drew any attention to Daisy’s inner beauty nor her intelligence. There is no depth to Daisy’s character. Her characterization neglects who she is under the...

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