The Power Of Masculinity In F. Scott Fitzgerald's Last Kiss

analytical Essay
1048 words
1048 words

Most love stories end with a man and woman happily in love with each other. This is not the case in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “Last Kiss”. Throughout the story, Jim longs for his childhood sweetheart and Pamela seeks out someone who will make her a star actress in Hollywood. Jim holds fast to his position of power and does not give in to Pamela’s beauty and charm until later in the story. Strong will and determination of females pose as a threat to masculinity because females can entice, persuade and manipulate males. Fitzgerald’s story demonstrates the inability of femininity to surpass the power of masculinity. This is shown through reinforcement of femininity, masculinity and belief in social norms. Fitzgerald presents femininity …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how f. scott fitzgerald's "last kiss" demonstrates the inability of femininity to surpass the power of masculinity.
  • Analyzes how fitzgerald presents femininity multiple times in the story showing pamela relying on men to get the things she wants and portraying men as valuable only when they have something to offer.
  • Analyzes how pamela becomes a threat to jim's masculinity by manipulating and taking advantage of her beauty and charm.
  • Analyzes how fitzgerald presents masculinity as dominant, but several scenes from the story suggest otherwise. jim offers pamela a ride after watching her perform.
  • Analyzes how pamela takes advantage of jim's emotions to get the acting job, which leads to an ultimatum. she breaks social norms by putting up a fight for not doing what she is told.
  • Analyzes how pamela's manipulation of men is crucial to her success and also becomes a threat to masculinity in the story by breaking social norms.

From the beginning, we see Pamela as a polite, attractive, young English girl trying to make a name for herself. We can conclude that Pamela is not as innocent as she looks or seems by her words and actions. For example, although Jim tries to tell her that she will most likely not hear from him, she still proceeds to tell him, “I’ll do just as you say” (256). This shows that she is making herself seem completely submissive to Jim and making him feel like he has to include her. Right after, she describes him as “the most civilized American [she’s] ever met” and “turned her back at the magnificence of her own compliment” (256). She knows that Jim already fancies her because he has made comments about how there is “something in it for you [her]” (255). This is important in the story because she uses Jim’s emotions to get herself into an acting job. She is manipulating him by making herself seem interested in Jim like when she asks him to “kiss [her] goodnight” (259). Once Jim develops feelings for Pamela he feels obligated to give her a part in one of his movies, but he does not want to be seen as weak if he allows Pamela to control his …show more content…

Jim offers Pamela a ride after watching her perform. The car ride scene makes the reader question the dominance of masculinity. Jim gives into Pamela when “she let her hand rest upon his” and says, “kiss tonight?” (261). This leads to Jim offering Pamela a job, which shows he gives into her femininity and lets her persuade him. It is prominent throughout the story that Pamela uses men to her advantage and later in the story she moves in with an older gentleman, Ward, who provides her the support she needs. For example, when Jim presents himself as Pamela’s boss Ward quickly replies “I hope Pamela is being handled properly?” (264). This shows that even without Jim, she still has an influence on other men and takes advantage of their

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