Portrayal of Women in the Twentieth Century

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The role of females during much of the Twentieth Century is domestic. Two well-known authors during this time period have conflicting views of how women fulfill these roles. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the women portray two very different perspectives on the roles of women within families and the values they instill within their families. The value the women share about money is one of the most prominent perceptions the authors portray. Both pieces of Modern literature differ in the perception of a woman’s rightful role as well as the importance of family in relation to monetary wealth. 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... ... middle of paper ... ... to their jobs within the family as well as their value of family. Fitzgerald shows the portrayal of a woman who is a selfish mother and neglects her child in her quest for happiness through the things money can buy. However, within this same role of women, Steinbeck portrays a selfless mother who plays an immense role within her family without money being a driving force. References: D'Adamo, P. (2011). Carbohydrates: more than just calories. Retrieved from http://n-equals-one.com/blogs/ Fitzgerald, F. Scott. (1925). The great Gatsby. New York, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons Stansberry, G. (2009, June 2). 64 funny, inspiring and stupid money quotes from famous people. Retrieved from http://www.wisebread.com/64-funny-inspiring-and-stupid-money-quotes-from-famous-people Steinbeck, J. (1939). The grapes of wrath. New York, New York: Penguin Classics
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