Theme Of Feminism In The Great Gatsby

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Watch out – a large group of feminists is approaching – hide The Great Gatsby! In 1987 The Great Gatsby – written by F. Scott Fitzgerald – was challenged for its misogynistic views. Since then, the book has always been controversial. Many critics argue that Fitzgerald’s palpable anti-feminist stand in the novel is disturbing for most women, yet many high schools include this book on their reading lists because of its commentary on social issues. This novel mirrors not only the decline of American dreams but also an aristocratic society. Even though the use of sexism in The Great Gatsby, implied through Daisy’s remarks, is offensive, students should read this masterpiece as it portrays the darkness and hollowness of the American upper class.…show more content…
Fitzgerald published the book right after women won their voting rights in 1920. However, no male characters in the book acknowledge females’ individuality; as a result, this triggers public anger. Barbara Will (an English professor at Dartmouth College) believes that Fitzgerald’s stand on the issue adheres to society’s common fear over “the expanded power of the alien” (Will, p.216). A valid point is made here: males – the centre – restrict and alienate females in order to prolong their superiority. It is specifically ironic in today’s modern era since human rights are equally distributed. The advocacy for sexism presented in The Great Gatsby will influence the young readers to re-create this inequality. That is, men will again have the absolute power to judge women on their looks instead of intelligence. Thus misogynists will be able to claim the novel as their bible and use offensive practices against females in their daily lives. Fitzgerald is communicating and promoting anti-feminism – which is ultimately offensive nowadays – through the main character,…show more content…
At the end of the novel, a sudden epiphany strikes Nick as he sits at the shore, overlooking the green light from East Egg. Nick depicts that “boats [are flowing] against the current, [and people are] borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald, p.144) in order to conclude and return to the theme of the significance of past to future. The author implies that selfishness and fickleness allow Tom as well as Daisy – a reflection of the upper class – to remove themselves from the Myrtle and Gatsby’s deaths not only physically but also psychologically. the “boats” represents the dark side of aristocracy that include anti-feminism and other traditional beliefs. Metaphorically speaking, the “boats” carry Nick, Gatsby, Daisy, all the Easterners, all the Westerners and all the Americans, in search of bright futures. Yet the feminist voice illustrated through the narrator Nick is a call for a revolution, and whereby is a portrayal of the “current” quoted from Nick’s meditation. As in this story, the “boats” resist flowing in the direction of the “current”; then nothing is to stop the decline of American dreams. As a result, everyone – including the aristocratic class, is a victim under this corrupted environment. The tragedy of Daisy is realistic and stereotypical; her pursuit for happiness and equality is easily cut off by commonly accepted conventions.
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