The Great Gatsby

Female Stability through Commodification in The Great Gatsby

As F. Scott Fitzgerald said in his lifetime, “‘Women are so weak, really – emotionally unstable – and their nerves, when strained, break . . . this is a man’s world. All wise women conform to the man’s lead’”(Kerr 406). He demonstrates this idea through the surface level weakness of his female characters in The Great Gatsby. For example, when Daisy describes the birth of her daughter, she expounds the female inferior position: “‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool’”(Fitzgerald 17). Although the women reflect this surface-level “foolishness”, The Great Gatsby provides several examples in which women empower themselves despite their inferior status. Although Fitzgerald may have viewed women as a weaker sex, several females in the novel demonstrate an underlying power through their relationships. Though they are not able to achieve the same amounts of success as men in the society, by attaching themselves to a suitable mate, women are able to share in the success of the men. In the patriarchal, greed-driven society of The Great Gatsby, the female characters are commodified by the men; yet, as illustrated through Daisy...

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