Women In The Great Gatsby

Submitted By klrhoade
Words: 544
Pages: 3

“If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom.” This quotation from Robert Frost applies to women in nineteenth century America as they began to establish a place for themselves in society. It is no secret that women have been considered the weaker sex, but this was a time when they began to show signs of freedom. They did this through their dress and makeup, their drinking and the parties they attended, and their achievements in the world of sports. The days of women wearing dresses that covered most of their body, pinning up their hair, behaving modestly, and allowing others to make their decisions for them were fading. By the 1920s, a woman who was independent, demanded equality, and lived with bold self-indulgence was considered a flapper (Jordan). A flapper enjoyed going on dates, wearing makeup, dancing, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes. She would usually cut her hair in a short bob and wear a dress with a drop waist or a skirt in a style that grew shorter throughout the decade (Jordan). Women could also be seen enjoying the nightlife offered at private parties. Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, characters from The Great Gatsby, are two women that embody the name of flapper during this time period. When Myrtle is first introduced, the description says: “She carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can…wearing a spotted dress of dark blue crépe-de-chine...” (Fitzgerald 24). Myrtle is a confident woman and does a superb job of acting the role of a woman spreading her wings. Daisy and Myrtle are always attending parties where they indulge in drinking liquor, smoking cigarettes, and dancing the night away. “The bottle of whiskey-a second one-was now in constant demand by all present…” (Fitzgerald 35). Women, especially flappers, were not afraid to have their presence known here or in new parts of society. Women also claimed their freedom by making their mark on the sports world during the nineteenth century. They were forced to compete against the stereotype of being too fragile to play strenuous sports (Bell). Women had traditionally participated in