The definition of the word “mother” according to the dictionary is “a female parent,” (“Mother,” 2011) but the way society views a mother is more. A mother isn’t simply a woman who gave birth to a child, but a woman who can raise, comfort, and care for their child. A mother’s job changes depending on what social standing they are in and what time they live in. Because of the different social classes and time periods of Daisy and Ma live in, their roles as the mother in the novels The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath greatly differ in their responsibility in their family, their treatment of their children, and their family morals, with Ma outshining Daisy as a true mother. While Daisy’s responsibility in her family is very small and separated, Ma’s responsibilities are very vital to her family. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy didn’t have any real responsibilities. Her basic role in life was to play the “happy trophy wife” for Tom. She is almost a possession of his, like a new car. A perfect example of Daisy’s role in her family is when she is first introduced, “The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up…The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise – she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression – then she laughed,” (Fitzgerald, 2008). In this scene, Daisy and Miss Baker are laying on the couch just looking beautiful, like objects on a shelf might. Fitzgerald even demonstrates their weak femininity by showing that Daisy isn’t quite strong enough to sit up on her own. Daisy’s actions in this scene display her reliance on her husband. Her job in the family is to look pretty and to pretend not to notice Tom’s infidelity. Daisy has no respo... ... middle of paper ... ...oes not make mothers” ~ Anonymous (Quotations about mothers, 2011). Daisy seems to be more of a child than a mother, and Ma brings out the characteristics people would want in their ideal mothers. The mother they would want is the one that cares about them, is always there for them, and takes real responsibility for their job as a parent. References Fitzgerald, F. S. (2008). The great Gatsby. New York, NY: Wheeler Mother. (2011). In Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. Retrieved 13 April 2011, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mother Mother & child. (2010). Retrieved 17 April 2011, from http://kethry.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/mothering-sunday/mother-child/ Quotations about mothers. (2011). Retrieved 17 April 2011, from http://www.quotegarden.com/mothers.html Steinbeck, J. (2006). The grapes of wrath. New York, NY: Penguin Classics
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In both these works, the mothers play the most important role in the development of the plot. They represent the pillars of strength and they are the ones that hold the family together and the hope alive. In Lorraine Hansberry's work, Mama is a widow, mother of two children and the head of the household: "There are some ideas we ain't going to have in this house. Not long as I am at the head of this family." (Hansberry 51) Mama is aware of the high position she is awarded in the family, since her husband is dead and she is left in care of the family. Qualities like independence and strength surround her and give her and air of authority. She takes charge when others hesitate and she gives courage to the insecure. "You just got strong willed children and it takes a strong woman like you to keep'em in hand, (Hansberry 52) her daughter-in-law tells her at one point. This symbolizes the love and respect she carries for her, but also the power that Mama radiates over the whole family.
“I hope she’ll be a fool - that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (Fitzgerald 20). This quote is as true now as it was when Daisy Buchanan said it about her daughter in The Great Gatsby. Women grow up in a box of expectations. They are told to act a certain way and do certain things. Daisy knew that this was the world that her daughter was going to be growing up in, and that if she grew up to be a fool then she would fit into the world very nicely. If she grew up and became someone who noticed inequality, or who wanted independence, she would struggle in the world. While woman are no longer put in such a black and white box, there are still many expectations and limitations that woman have to face in their
Daisy’s original impression of Gatsby is evident in her early letters to him, “...he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself- that he was fully able to take care of her” (149). Daisy loved Gatsby under the false hope that they belonged to the same social class. She grew up surrounded by riches, never working a day in her life, and she could not comprehend the struggles of a man who must work for the food he eats each day. Daisy knew that she must marry when she is beautiful, for being a beautiful rich girl of good social standing was her highest commodity and most valuable chip in marrying well. In order to live a secure life, she had to find someone the had the means to provide for her extravagant lifestyle, and the deep care for her that would allow Daisy to do as she pleased. The only definition of love Daisy knew was one of disillusioned power and commitments under false pretenses in order to keep the wealthy continually rich. Daisy acknowledges the false pretenses of marriage for the wealthy in how she describes her daughter’s future. She tells Nick, “‘And I hope she’ll be a fool- that’s the best thing a girl can be in this
In typical families of the early to mid 1900s, and even now in many cases, the man held the position of the leader, and the expected role of women was to cook, clean, and follow the orders of their husbands. This can be seen in the very first chapter of The Grapes of Wrath when Steinbeck writes, “And the women came out of the housed to stand beside their men-to feel whether this time the men would break…women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole”. (Steinbeck, 2006) It is clear from this that the women look to their husbands to decide how they must respond to any situation. Despite this typical portrayal of a submissive wife, Ma Joad in Grapes steps up as the leader and backbone of her family. Steinbeck makes this clear when he says, “She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she has practiced denying them in herself”. (Steinbeck, 2006) Clearly, the members of the Joad family look to Ma for leadership, not Pa. Unlike Ma, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays Daisy...
During the 1920’s, the role women had under men was making a drastic change, and it is shown in The Great Gatsby by two of the main female characters: Daisy and Jordan. One was domesticated and immobile while the other was not. Both of them portray different and important characteristics of the normal woman growing up in the 1920’s. The image of the woman was changing along with morals. Females began to challenge the government and the society. Things like this upset people, especially the men. The men were upset because this showed that they were losing their long-term dominance over the female society.
Characters in The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald are often described differently than they actually act throughout the novel. In the beginning of the novel, Daisy is told to be “by far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville”. She was said to have great beauty, and its even said that she holds her popularity spot because of it. She is also described as a “fool” which means she is beautiful, just like an angel. As we read on, we come to see that Daisy is actually very careless, selfish, and only focuses herself on wealth and power. She never looked at the consequences of her actions; and she let others clean up the messes she made. She wanted her daughter to grow up just like her, even though it’s a life nobody wanted to live. She even gave up her true love to be with somebody who had money and a good repetition. As perceived in the novel, Daisy is the most despicable character in the novel of The Great Gatsby.
Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby is a character introduced as “passive, security-minded and pragmatic” who lacks the gall to leave her husband for Jay Gatsby. Although she does not own Gatsby, Daisy appears to possess ownership of him as it is argued in, Psychological Politics of the American Dream, that women are treated as commodities traded among men, however this fails to account for the fact that Daisy is equally as manipulative as Tom specifically towards Gatsby. Once the truth about Gatsby is revealed, Daisy beings “drawing further and further into herself” as the illusion of a new, wealthy life with Gatsby is shattered.
Daisy's life is full of excitement and wealth, she gets practically everything she desires and feels like she has it all. As a person of high society she treats those below her with disdain, even her cousin. “What shall we do with ourselves this afternoon...and the day after that, and the next thirty years?” (Fitzgerald 118). The Jazz age had changed Daisy and influenced her to become careless as she seeks empty love, money and pleasure. It is only when Gatsby comes along she realizes that she has been missing something. Gatsby had been her first love, but she
Daisy Buchanan is a fragile, flirtatious, feather floating around in the book The Great Gatsby. Her character is not portrayed as the typical women in the 1920's but instead she is known as the beauty queen. However, society knows that not all her life is flowers and cupcakes. Her marriage to Tom Buchanan is a disappointment, and his many affairs really get to her. She does not feel any maternal way towards her daughter, whom we hardly ever hear about in the story, and thinks that she is going to be just like her, "a beautiful little fool". Although it's clear that Daisy and Gatsby are in love, their love can never be. Like Daisy once told Gatsby: " I wish I would of done everything on earth with" but instead they each end up taking a different path.
Fitzgerald and Steinbeck’s views conflict on the value and portrayal of women. A woman in this century rarely challenges a man’s superiority, nor thinks or acts independently. Two mothers, Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby and Ma Joad from The Grapes of Wrath, both follow this unspoken rule yet the authors portray their roles in very different ways. Daisy seems to be skimming the surface of her family life instead of actually interacting with her family. One of the few instances in which Fitzgerald mentions Daisy’s daughter, Daisy wishes for her daughter to be, “the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (Fitzgerald, 1925). Men want nothing to do with women who posses the ability and intelligence to voice their own opinions and react to the inequality at that time, so in Daisy’s opinion, her daughter should just hope to be beautiful. Contrary to a woman’s job at this time, Fitzgerald never depicts her as a typical housewife: cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the children. Daisy is subject to a cheating husband, displaying a lack of respect for her...
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s consideration of gender roles throughout The Great Gatsby reflect the sheer unbalance between the value of men and women in traditional households. Throughout the novel women are seen living a life controlled by men, and accepting their loss of independence for the materialistic values of life. Women follow the social code of the 1920’s to seem ladylike, leading them to succumb to uniform and object like personas. Scenes of blatant sexism are the strongest representation of the gender gap and the loss of morals throughout the 1920’s.
When the leading female in the role, Daisy Buchanan, learns that the child she is giving birth to is a girl she says “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool . . . the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (Fitzgerald 21). This shows how Daisy has given up at this point in her life and realizes that women will never amount to anything and that they have no role in society other than becoming someone's wife and or mother. Daisy Buchanan is fully aware of the role that women play during this time. She, unlike most women, knows of her own marginalization and admits that females are powerless and unimportant as they are living in a male-dominated society. The author's presentation of women is essentially very unsympathetic and unflattering. Daisy is also a character who is struggling with being in love with a man other than her husband, but knows that she cannot go out and have an affair. A literary critic Lihua Zhang states how The Great Gatsby is a, “Disillusion of American Dream . . . the way of dealing with true love and lo...
In the novel, "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby has raised his fantasy of Daisy to incredible lengths. Accurately speaking, there is nowhere in the novel where she is as great as she is in his mind. Jordan shares her recollections of Daisy with Nick. Jordan says she cherished Daisy the greatest. There is something charming regarding Daisy for her to have various admirers, but part of her character also comes from her appearances and her social rank. Part of the reason, if not the principal purpose, that she marries Tom is for his wealth. This could be contemplated as an imperfection or it may be that she had been prepared and, consequently, compelled into marrying for such purposes. Daisy learns to admire Tom and in the process,
Daisy’s society places her under strict social regulations based on wealth, which ultimately decide many aspects of her life. The 1920s society that is the setting for The Great Gatsby seems to consist of three social classes: the wealthy, socially connected, and old fashioned in East Egg; the newly rich and flamboyant lacking social connections in West Egg; and the poor living in the “Valley of Ashes.” Daisy Buchannan belongs to the upper East Egg class. Those who are part of this class are held to high social standards. Coming from a wealthy family, Da...
Throughout time women have been written as the lesser sex weaker, secondary characters. They are portrayed as dumb, stupid, and nothing more that their fading beauty. They are written as if they need to be saved or helped because they cannot help themselves. Women, such as Daisy Buchanan who believes all a women can be is a “beautiful little fool”, Mrs Mallard who quite died when she lost her freedom from her husband, Eliza Perkins who rights the main character a woman who is a mental health patient who happens to be a woman being locked up by her husband, and then Carlos Andres Gomez who recognizes the sexism problem and wants to change it. Women in The Great Gatsby, “The Story of an Hour,” “The Yellow Wall Paper” and the poem “When” are