Discuss how the female characters are presented in the first four chapters Myrtle Wilson, Jordan Baker and Daisy Buchannan are three important protagonists in the novel, The Great Gatsby. Through the contradicting wealth and prosperity of the eggs and the valley of the ashes, they significantly highlight the different attitudes of women of different social statuses in the ‘roaring ass’s’. Living in an ‘elaborate’ colonial mansion’ Daisy Buchannan is presented as being wealthy, delicate and subtly pretentious.
The ostentatious house she lives in immediately gives the reader an insight to her character that not only is she a perfectionist, but grand as well as imposing. The interior appears to be a reflection of Daisy’s womanhood and femininity as it is described as being ‘bright rose – colored’ as well as containing ‘deep pungent roses’. Being dressed’ in all White’ perhaps could signify daisy ‘purity and innocence, the author continues to elude to her having an angel – like aura by describing her dress’ fluttering and rippling as well as her ‘drifting round.
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Not only could this be interpreted as a representation of her delicacy, but it could also have spiritual connotations; that in fact she is not real and truly living life. Instead she is a presence suspecting on life, watching the time pass by. The verb choice ‘drifting suggests that she is looking for something long lost that will never be found and it is at this point where we begin to pity her and see in fact she is a dimensional character with many sides to be revealed.
As the novel continues to unfold, there are butte hints that make the reader doubt weather Daisy is fully content in life when she is described as being ‘saddened’ and this cheerful ‘paralyses with happiness’ persona in fact is Just an illusion. This alludes to the idea which makes us question whether it is Just a facade and she is playing a role, and lives to live up to Tom’s expectations. It becomes clear that her life lacks anything tangible and instead all she wants is to be loved, something Tom fails to do, however he provides her with the security Gatsby fails to do so.
Myrtle Wilson is set in direct contrast to Daisy from her image, to characteristics to their home towns. Living in the Valley of Ashes this is set in direct contrast to the wealth and prosperity of the Eggs, a ‘dismal’ and ‘desolate’ territory. Daisy is everything she isn’t, with her thick’s figure’ Vitality and ‘smoldering’ aura, she takes control of hers an Georges relationship by Walking straight through him. Daisy on the other hand is fully aware of Tom’s mistress and allows her to ring the home. By Wetting her lips’ and wearing fur gloves’ Scott
Fitzgerald incorporates very sexual suggestions when describing Myrtle, this deviates completely from Daisy’s virgin – like composure. It is evident that she has a clear vision of what she wants, and not only demanding but very impulsive by Wanting to get one of them dogs’. Later on in the novel when the dog immediately is disregarded it shows Myrtle does not think about the implications of her decisions and only cares about what is happening presently. Her apartment is located on the top floor’ which suggests that she could perceive herself as superior and above everyone.
Not only is the furniture too large for it but it is extremely ‘crowded’ and perhaps this could be a reflection of her cluttered relationships and her feelings of being smothered by George. Due to her ‘stumbling to get around the apartment this life and she continually finds them a struggle. Interestingly located on her table are ‘scandal magazines’ this adds humor to the novel as it is very ironic due to her being in a scandal herself. The author describes Myrtle as changing her ‘costume’ and with her dress change comes a change to her personality and attitude.
This could imply that she feels that she like Daisy has to play a role to impress people and feel socially accepted. We can see that Myrtle at times tries to pretend she’s something she’s not, by speaking in a ‘high mincing shout’ becoming ‘impressively haughty and ‘raising her eyebrows’ it is interesting that she craves and desires the social superiority that Daisy naturally has with grace. Jordan Baker similarly to Daisy’s ‘impersonal eyes’ held Nicks hand ‘impersonally and immediately the reader understands that rapes she may create a barrier between herself and other people and does not like getting too close with new people.
She ‘saunters’ ‘confidently as well as has ‘Jauntiness in her movement’, this indicates that Miss Baker in fact is very sure of herself, similarly to Tom. The three important female characters all in turn have an important purpose in the novel, to highlight the key themes of conspicuous consumption and economic prosperity. Their dithering roles within the novel help the reader to understand the women of the era.