Degeneration of Women in The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

Degeneration of Women in The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

Length: 2993 words (8.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Degeneration of Women in The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire


The men they are influenced by and, often, married to, and the circumstances in which they live and work dictate the women’s characters and personalities. In ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Daisy and Blanche suffer degeneration in terms of their mentality and their morals due to the behaviour and actions of the men in their lives. The male characters act as catalysts in implementing this change, as they alter the lives of others yet are not themselves changed. However, it cannot be said that men are entirely responsible for this degeneration- to a certain extent, the fate of the women rests in their own hands. A comparison between the two texts, considering both the male characters’ responsibility, and the women’s own responsibility for themselves, will be decisive in determining how and why the women degenerate and the consequences of this deterioration.

Men are an extremely dominant force within both ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. The marriages in each text display a microcosm view of the text as a whole, in that they are a small representation of a larger context. The men in each marriage are dominant- Tom, for example, is ambiguous because a reader knows he is violent from his behaviour to Myrtle- ‘Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with an open hand…high over the confusion a long broken wail of pain.’ However, he does not act violently that we know of towards Daisy. This could be a direct result of the two women’s class. Daisy is described by Jordan as being, ‘ “By far the most popular of all the young girls in Louiseville”’ whose wealth and class could be measured by ‘...


... middle of paper ...


...ever had any real compassion or love for her. Their decision to move away comes despite his earlier assumption that, ‘ “I’ll stay in the East, don’t you worry…I’d be a God damned fool to live anywhere else.”’ Gatsby himself is more ambiguous, as his obsession with Daisy creates his situation. He degenerates in terms of his morals, yet it seems that he has always been amoral when it comes to business and ‘gonnegtions’ as well.

Ultimately, the men only change subtly and almost imperceptibly as a result of their actions towards the women, yet the women themselves change irreversibly. Each change that occurs within the women is significant not just to the characters themselves, but also to those surrounding them and the dynamics of the plot. The conclusion to each text has been determined by the actions of the men and the result that they have on the women.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Great Gatsby And A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

- “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” (T.S. Eliot) By constructing a comparative discussion, say to what extent you consider this to be useful in understanding The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire. Many of the characters in both of the texts feel the need to create their own fantasy as they cannot bear the reality of their own lives. An example of this is the characters covering up the reality of their past by altering the present – Blanche lying about her promiscuous nature and Gatsby altering his identity as a part of a stage play in order to alter the truth and attempt to achieve his dream....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Light, Time]

Powerful Essays
2557 words (7.3 pages)

Essay on The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire

- Alcohol in its many forms The use of alcohol has many different physical properties. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, alcohol plays a rather compelling and symbolic role. For instance alcohol occurs in both texts in the form of social meanings of having a good time and can also lead to violence. Therefore, the authors are trying to get across that alcohol is used, in different ways, to convey the moral degradations of society....   [tags: alcohol and conflict in literature]

Powerful Essays
517 words (1.5 pages)

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

- The American Dream is an ethos idealized by millions of people. It is an attitude and mindset that can promote success and prosperity throughout life. When it comes to the American dream, a significant part is the quest for money. As shown in classic American Literature such as The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, the influence of money plays an important role throughout both novels. There are characters in both books that use money as a way of representing what their morals and values are....   [tags: A Streetcar Named Desire]

Powerful Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

Degeneration of Women in The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

- Degeneration of Women in The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire The men they are influenced by and, often, married to, and the circumstances in which they live and work dictate the women’s characters and personalities. In ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Daisy and Blanche suffer degeneration in terms of their mentality and their morals due to the behaviour and actions of the men in their lives. The male characters act as catalysts in implementing this change, as they alter the lives of others yet are not themselves changed....   [tags: Great Gatsby Streetcar Desire Essays]

Powerful Essays
2993 words (8.6 pages)

Comparison of The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire Essay examples

- In the novel The Great Gatsby and the play A Streetcar Named Desire the main characters James Gatsby and Blanche Dubois have a lengthy search for love. Both characters go about their search in similar and different ways. The characters choose illusion over reality, but the way in which they go about it differs. Also in an attempt to impress, both characters try and “buy” love by using material possessions to attract people to them. Although Gatsby and Blanche devote a lot of their lives to finding true love, their searching leaves them unsuccessful....   [tags: Protagonists' Search for Love]

Powerful Essays
1095 words (3.1 pages)

A Streetcar Named Desire By Tennessee Williams Essay

- Preserved in the Constitution of 1776 is a dream of spiritual attainment, which argues that all men, equal under law, should be free to engage in the pursuit of happiness. Throughout Tennessee Williams’s noteworthy novel, A Streetcar Named Desire, the author makes a criticism of a spiritual fulfillment of this pronounced “American Dream”. Williams continually makes the dream look to be unattainable to most Americans, and viewed as a sign of dominance rather than opportunity and perseverance. In this latest play we have read in class, the American Dream is consistently criticized and made out to look as if it is truly detrimental to the average citizen....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1723 words (4.9 pages)

Such a Beautiful Play: A Streetcar Named Desire Journal Entry Essay

- ... To be smarter than the men who have been in her life, the ones who have allowed themselves to use Blanche but never saw who the woman really was beneath the white veil. She sees this child as a future, and despite the fact her life is fleeting and hallow, this child can live on. This is echoed with the woman selling flowers for the dead; Blanche cannot touch them, let alone think of them, as they are symbolic of the end, while the child is the future. Blanche stands up for herself for a first; "I don't have to put up with insults" yet sadly, this is an empty statement....   [tags: desire, death, ascent, paradise]

Powerful Essays
2081 words (5.9 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Fitzgerald Essay

- In literature, texts often allow the reader to escape from a world of reality. However, as I will explore in this essay, many texts explore actual characters and their conflict with the imagined. It is evident that such themes are strongly present in The Great Gatsby, A Streetcar named Desire, and from selected works of John Keats. One reason why these texts are so effective is due to their cultural and historical context in which they are set. Whether it is Keats’s work in an era of romanticism, or The Great Gatsby set at the height of the Jazz Age and American dream, they share a common theme; ages of high passion, dreams and hopes....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1429 words (4.1 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- F. Scott Fitzgerald best selling book "The Great Gatsby" and Tennessee Williams play “Streetcar named desire”,are two american classic that share identical themes then you would picture. Since, Jay Gatsby is illustrated as a wealthy hard working man, while Blanche Dubois is characterized as a lying former prostitute who tries to escape reality, by creating her own fantasy you would think they don’t have much in common. By comparing, both the play “Streetcar named desire” and the novel “The Great Gatsby”, Blanche and Gatsby are not so different after all....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
2058 words (5.9 pages)

Masculinity and Superiority in The Great Gasby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Awakening by Kate Chopin and A Car Named Desire by Tennessee William

- The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. According to the United States Census Bureau in 2012, women earned approximately 77 cents for every dollar that a man made (Bassett 2013). Since its independence, all of America’s leaders have been male. What do all of these statements have in common. Male superiority. Since its foundation, the United States of America has been a male dominated society. Masculinity and male superiority have been demonstrated in various aspects of this nation’s culture....   [tags: culture, literature and history]

Powerful Essays
1335 words (3.8 pages)