Depictions of Women: The Great Gatsby and Portrait D’une Femme

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Modernist authors of the 1920s showed a negative light on the women of this generation. There were a lot of people who experienced disillusionment of the American Dream which included the ‘perfect’ family. In “Portrait D’une Femme”, by Ezra Pound, it shows the view of a woman from a man who clearly had a disillusionment of his idea of women of a perfect life. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the narrator also has a disillusionment of women of the 1920’s. In this piece, it shows the differences and similarities of the social classes; this showed how women act based on their social status in society. Both of these pieces reflect the fast and abrupt changes of women of the 1920’s. The Great Gatsby and “Portrait D’une Femme” both reflect the misogyny of men during the 1920s, who struggled to accept the new, modern woman.
Initially, in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main upper-class women are Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker. Both of the women are presented as women of no morals who only have a love of money and possessions. Both of these women are introduced as the women in white, this color being purity. We evenly see these women the least bit pure and this represents one of the first main examples of inverted symbolism. Evaluating these women one by one, when we look at Daisy we see the ‘trophy wife’. She is the women that every man wanted and every woman wanted to be. As Carol Wershoven puts it, “She is the golden girl in the white palace” (Wershoven). As we get to know Daisy she kind of comes off as the ‘clueless blonde’. She is always seen contemplating what she is doing and what she should be doing in life; almost as if it’s a game and she is still looking for a set of rules to guide her. She herself v...

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...king at The Great Gatsby the whole story would have been so much different if women were all moral and right. If we are being honest, the depiction of women in both these pieces is what made them both unique and so brilliant. Ergo, the representation of women of the 1920’s made the pieces unforgettable and luminous.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1925. Print.

Pound, Ezra. “Portrait D’une Femme. ” 1912. Print.

Schoesler, Matthew. "Pound's Portrait d'une Femme." The Explicator 65.3 (2007): 162+. Literature Resource Center. Web. Feb. 2014.

Wershoven, Carol. "Insatiable Girls." Child Brides and Intruders. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993. 92-99. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Linda Pavlovski. Vol. 157. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. Feb. 2014.
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