Daisy Buchanan: A Woman as Roaring as the Twenties Essay

Daisy Buchanan: A Woman as Roaring as the Twenties Essay

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Rosie the Riveter, star of the American World War II poster who sports the iconic workers’ jumpsuit and red bandanna, was a symbol for modern, emancipated women in the 1950s, before becoming a mere representation of vintage artwork. The independence that this character models is represented by Scott Fitzgerald’s Daisy, in The Great Gatsby, who at first glance seems to oppose this. Her innocence and purity, however, can be easily deconstructed, because she both supports the traditional image of women, and challenges it, fitting perfectly into the context of ideological transformation of the 1920s.
A more superficial interpretation of Daisy would argue that she is the ultimate “golden girl”: an innocent, idealized and flawless object of desire. This is due to the “ardor of [her] pursuers”, who, as Keats argues, are responsible for creating her value (Keats 148). Already in the novel’s first pages the reader realizes that she represents a patriarchal society’s concept of the ideal woman, and is encouraged to observe this standard by the men who surround and idealize her as such. The way Nick describes her voice, which Gatsby later states “‘is full of money’”, helps to portray her as nothing more than an embodiment of charm and of man's greatest desires - love and wealth (Fitzgerald 120). Daisy is illustrated as graceful and a “beautiful little fool”, as she states, whose only purpose is to look pretty and observe traditional roles assigned to women, such as being an exemplary wife and mother (Fitzgerald 17).
Color, and aspects of Daisy’s appearance, further contribute to the creation of this idealized, perfect image. The color white suggests innocence, ingenuousness and chastity, and is, therefore, used to describe her. The a...


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...to which we are exposed, and, that, therefore, human empathy and solidarity are rooted in the major portion of individual selves which society has come to constitute.



Works Cited
Churchwell, Sarah. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby. London: Virago, 2013. Google Books. Web. 27 May 2014.
Denby, David. "All That Jazz." New Yorker 13 May 2013: n. pag. The New Yorker. Web. 22 May 2014.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.
The Great Gatsby. Dir. Baz Luhrman. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobby McGuire and Carey Mulligan. Warner Bros., 2013.
Keats, John. Life, Letters, and Literary Remains, of John Keats. Ed. Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton. Vol. 2. London: E. Moxon, 1848. Google Books. Web. 27 May 2014.
Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.

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