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The Great Gatsby Women In The Twenties

1684 words - 7 pages

When one thinks of flappers, the first thing that pops to mind is the image of a woman dressed much like Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby (2013), bobbed hair, white fringe low-waisted dress, flat-chested and highly made up face. In the 1920’s, after the first world war, women’s roles in society began to change because they became more independent, both in clothing and actions. They defied the well-known appropriate feminine behavior and along with those actions came new fashions. They refused to live up to any rules, whether from their husbands or their society. Today’s modern women are the reflection of the 1920’s women. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald appraises the changing attitudes of women in the 1920s in his depiction of America’s first stubborn and fashionable new wave of women, flappers.
Before World War I, a woman’s life was centered around her family, home, and children. According to Bryant Joyce, in his article How War Changed the Role of Women in the United States, a woman was known as a housewife. She was known to clean the house, take care of the children, cook for her husband, make utensils for the house, mainly the kitchen and be extremely dependent on her husband good’s will. Most women ran home bakeries, became nurses, unlicensed physicians and midwives. They weren’t pay for their continuous works, only the men receive money for their outside jobs (Bryant).
Although they were denied political powers, many women served as coworkers helping their husbands. According to Louise Bennet, in her article Women in the 1920s in North Carolina, women accepted the division of political labor without question. Family has always been a women’s primary concern. To serve their husbands and elders, they were dressed very moderately. Women were dressed from head to toes, showing little to no skin. A grown women is even insulted if her daughter is seen otherwise (Bryant).
During World War I, women were the main workers left in the United States. The men were recruited to join the war, so the multiple tasks of taking care of the home, while maintaining industrial jobs were bestow on women. According to Tae Kim, in her article Seattle General Strike: Where Women Worked During World War I, almost three million women were hired to work at stores, military's camps and jobs abandoned by fighters in the war. They were paid very little money, but with renewed strength, they strive for a better life for themselves and their children (Kim).
The war gave women the courage needed to asks for the right to vote. This new demand was granted by the government in the 19th Amendment. According to Ellen McCarthy, in her article Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation, women were finally given the opportunity to express their beliefs through their votes. They gained power through their works, and amendments granted. Women were also given the right of equality within a marriage. This, eventually lead women to have a say concerning divorce...

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