Gatsby's Terrible Women Essay

2135 words - 9 pages

Gatsby's Terrible Women Fitzgerald's low opinion of women is evident throughout the novel. His personal experiences with the females in his life cross over to the novel's feminine characters. All female personalities in the Great Gatsby possess major character flaws. A correlation can be drawn between the negative traits Fitzgerald imbues his female characters with, and his personal disdain for women. The main female character of the Great Gatsby, Daisy, possesses negative attributes which dominate her personality. She is insincere, shallow and self-absorbed.Daisy displays her shallowness through her inane laughter, and constant meaningless chatter. She is the counterpart of Fitzgerald's wife Zelda, who also possessed the same characteristics. Zelda, according to James R. Mellow author of Invented Lives, portrays her shallowness in a letter to her daughter written from Hollywood. Here Zelda states, "Everybody here is very clever and can nearly all dance and sing and play and I feel very stupid" (Mellow 285). She evidently sees these attributes of others as positive, meaningful parts of personality. Zelda missed the deeper part of a person's makeup, and looked only on the surface of things much like her counterpart Daisy. The text reinforces the same shallow aspect of Daisy's nature. In chapter VII this shallowness is evidenced when Daisy takes a very brief time to show off her daughter to Gatsby. She prattles with mawkish clichés which accentuates her shallowness. Her character comes across as depthless and phony. Later in the same chapter another glimpse of her shallowness is provided through the quote "What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon,? cried Daisy, and the day after that and the next thirty years " (Fitzgerald 125 )? Here she displays the aimless, meaningless existence of the shallow one dimensional creature that she is. The final substantiation of her shallowness is found in chapter IX. Nick notes that Daisy hadn't sent a message or a flower upon hearing of Gatsby's death. This certainly exemplifies her shallowness. Nick remembered this without resentment, but the reader can only deduce from this statement that Daisy was shallow, self centered, and insincere. The selfishness of Daisy and Zelda also run parallel. Daisy is too selfish to wait for Gatsby while he is in the war. Instead she marries Tom who is rich, and on her own social strata. Zelda belonged to a higher social strata than Fitzgerald and let him know that she wouldn't marry him because he was too poor. This was Fitzgerald's impetus to write. From the biography Invented Lives, by James Mellow, an in-depth record of all that Fitzgerald accomplished before Zelda would condescend to marry him is documented. In 1920 after selling four short stories, movie rights to future stories, and options for more short stories Zelda finally accepts Fitzgerald's proposal for marriage (Mellow 85). "At the back of Fitzgerald's mind too, there seemed to be a...

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