The Stereotypical Characters of The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald is well known for being an excellent writer, for expertly describing the Jazz Age, and for having a drinking problem. However, he is not so well known for creating deep and intriguing characters. In The Great Gatsby, the majority of the characters remain one-dimensional and unchanging throughout the novel. They are simply known from the viewpoint of Nick Carraway, the participating narrator. Some insight is given into characters in the form of their dialogue with Nick, however, they never really become deep characters that are 'known' and can be identified with. While all of the participants in the novel aren't completely flat, most of the main characters are simply stereotypes of 1920's people from the southern, western, and eastern parts of America.
"Proper Southern Belles 1. Never blow their noses in public, 2. Never chase after a man- they connive a man into chasing them, 3. Always get what they want, 4. Are extraordinary hostesses, 5. Always look their best, 6. Are always a bit mysterious, and 7. Are witty and charming." (Suney) In short, a typical Southern Belle is lovely, well mannered, and above all, wealthy. Daisy Buchanan is lovely, well mannered, and above all, wealthy. She was known as the most beautiful girl in Louisville, and her family was very rich. Daisy, being the most popular girl amongst the soldiers, could pick any man she liked to 'connive' into chasing her. When Jay Gatsby came around, she fell in love with his lie of being rich and from a good family. But after he went away to war, she became impatient and couldn't wait for the man she thought she loved. When she met Rich Easterner Jock, Tom, she married him, not knowing whether or not she truly loved him, but only that he was from a good, rich family and that her own family approved of him. A Southern Belle marries whichever man her daddy tells her to- and that man usually has a great deal of money.
Daisy is in love with money, ease, and material luxury, all things a rich Southern Belle grows up with. After her marriage to Tom, she is whisked away to the east, the symbol of 'old money' and corruption of America. Here she becomes more comfortable in she and her husband's abundant assets and allows the corruption of the east to take her over- she becomes reckless and even more materialistic. She treats her own daughter as nothing more than an object to show off and treats Gatsby, the man who dedicated his life to seeking her out, as if he had never existed. The combination of the Southern Belle stereotype along with that of the corrupt Rich Easterner creates the perfect portrait of Daisy Buchanan.
"Only remember-west of the Mississippi it's a little more look, see, act. A little less rationalize, comment, talk." (Fitzgerald) Pioneers of the western home front work hard to find the new opportunities and new lives they know exist for them. ...