• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Fitzgeralds portrayal of the female characters in The Great Gatsby reveals an underlying hatred of women. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual information on Fitzgeralds own attitude to women, give your response to the above view.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked Fitzgerald?s portrayal of the female characters in ?The Great Gatsby? reveals an underlying hatred of women. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual information on Fitzgerald?s own experience of, and attitude to women, give your response to the above view. In The Great Gatsby women are often presented in less than positive terms, which doubtlessly reveals that Fitzgerald had an underlying hatred of women. Even when the book was first published, it was not received well amongst women. In 1925 Fitzgerald wrote to Marya Mannes that, ?Women, even intelligent women, haven?t generally cared much for The Great Gatsby. They do not like women to be presented as emotionally passive ? as a matter of fact I think most women are.? In examining how Fitzgerald negatively portrays women, a good place to start is how they are reduced to their appearance. Throughout The Great Gatsby men are described based on their wealth or careers, but women are described based primarily on their appearance, such as the sexualised depictions of Myrtle: ?She was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can. ...read more.

Middle

The main dominator is, of course, Tom. He perceives himself to be an alpha-male and dominates not only his wife, but any woman he is acquainted with. For example, he states that Jordan should not, ?be allowed to run around.? However, the best example of his domineering nature is how he ?picks up? Myrtle. They meet on a subway train and she initially, ?told him I'd have to call a policeman.? They end up getting in a taxi together, without even introducing themselves. Tom represents a dying patriarchal society, when women had to be submissive to men. According to his friend Andrew Turnbull, Fitzgerald often said, ?this is a man?s world. All wise women conform to the man?s lead.? Perhaps Fitzgerald, much like Tom, dismayed at the change in women that the 1920s brought. Men were slowly losing their culturally expected role of breadwinner, which left many men without a sense of purpose. It is feasible that Fitzgerald may have felt his masculinity and power was being usurped by the many powerful women in his life, which led to an underlying hatred of women. Those that oppose my view claim that Fitzgerald did not have an underlying hatred of women. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, it could be argued that Fitzgerald?s underlying hatred wasn?t only directed at women; it was directed at everyone, male and female alike. It could even be said that Nick is more critical of the men than the women. In chapter one he states he was, "Disgusted with everyone, and everything. Only one man was exempt from my disgust." The women aren?t portrayed negatively simply because of their gender, it is because of their frivolous lifestyles and selfish personalities. Fitzgerald was somewhat of a hypocrite; he resented 1920s culture while at the same time embodying everything he despised. His own excessive lifestyle is similar to Gatsby?s. He was part of the ?lost generation?, the young men who went to war and returned shell-shocked and without vital employment skills. Thus women are not to blame for his problems, but 1920s society as a whole. To conclude, after careful consideration we determine that Fitzgerald certainly had a disdain for women. It may be exaggerating to call it hatred, but his rough past with women twisted Fitzgerald?s portrayal of them. We see this reflected throughout the novel, and in Fitzgerald?s own quotes. The opposing arguments have some merit but ultimately they fail to realise the true implications and context of The Great Gatsby. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level F. Scott Fitzgerald section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore F.Scotts Fitzgeralds presentation of class and wealth in The Great Gatsby and The ...

    4 star(s)

    He fails in both these areas. In integrating elements of his personal life, Fitzgerald may be implying that loving someone of a different social class comes with compromises and that one may lose sight of who they are in the process.

  2. Three characters in The Great Gatsby and the theme of obsession

    He was left again by his true love, Daisy's real intentions showing through in her choice in staying with the protectiveness of Tom. In the end Gatsby accepted that Daisy would never leave Tom for a bootlegger and a farmer's son.

  1. It is Nick who makes Jay Gatsby into The Great Gatsby(TM). With close reference ...

    Fitzgerald's simile of the guests being insect-like expresses Nick's observation of the superficial materialism and immorality of American society (emphasized in the former quotation by the sibilance of "whisperings"), as they are only tempted by Gatsby's wealth, drawn like moths to his light, while making Gatsby seem somehow compelling and

  2. Gatsby is more of an anti-hero than a hero. With reference to appropriately selected ...

    is not as pure as he likes to appear: ?I think he hardly knew what he was saying, for when I asked him what business he was in he answered, "That's my affair," before he realized that it wasn't the appropriate reply.? This web of secrecy and deceit suggests that Fitzgerald intended Gatsby to be interpreted as an anti-hero.

  1. The real hero of The Great Gatsby is not Gatsby but the narrator Nick ...

    rejects his own family: ?His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people - his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all.? This paints him as the classic, prideful tragic hero and could suggest that the real hero of The Great Gatsby is Gatsby after all.

  2. In The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway is not a reliable narrator. With reference to ...

    of the few honest people that I have ever known.? While other characters are having extra marital affairs and other immoral pleasures, Nick seems to remove himself from it. He has a certain moral standpoint which he maintains throughout his narration, this would suggest that he is a reliable narrator.

  1. The American Dream is what drives the characters in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

    Tom acknowledges his need for more when he says, "I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, in my heart I love her all Tom also feels that he needs more excitement in his life.

  2. Tom Buchannan reflects important attitudes and values in real-life American society in the 1920s. ...

    Through his bigotry and hatred, Tom Buchannan certainly reflects important attitudes and values in real-life American society in the 1920s. Further support for this proposition can be found when we consider Tom?s misogynist views, and how such views were common in the 1920s.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work