This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Jack Clayton’s The Great Gatsby And Second Wave Feminism

3751 words - 16 pages

Jack Clayton’s The Great Gatsby was produced during a decade of progressive movements such as Second-wave Feminism, and in particular, the Sexual Revolution. Second Wave Feminism demonstrated the fight of females of all classes and races to gain reproductive rights and equality in the workplace, which signaled an ideological background for gender struggles. In the Sexual Revolution, women searched for their role in society through exploring their bodies and challenging sexual normativity in an effort to rid forms of sexism. While Second-wave Feminists assumed a noticeable presence in society, much of their agenda failed. In turn, 1970’s society was comprised by a nostalgic craze, an effort ...view middle of the document...

Daisy’s Buchanan timeless quote, “I hope she grows up to be a pretty little fool. That’s about the best a girl can hope for these days, to be a pretty little fool,” spurs on Second-wave Feminists and their agenda to challenge and redefine gender roles (The Great Gatsby 1974). In previous and more conservative eras, women only existed to take care of the house and family, a serious job that was anything but reckless. During the era of Second-wave Feminism, this belief was altered, as events such as the Roe v. Wade decision alerted women that they now held more power over their bodies. The law appeared to be on the side of women, as they now had the power over motherhood. At the same time, Clayton characterized Daisy as giddy, as she whimsically addressed this statement to Nick. On one hand, Daisy wishes for her daughter not to have to worry about being confined by patriarchy, while on the other hand, Daisy’s wish for her daughter to be a “pretty little fool” reflects the apparent material nature of women. In turn, Daisy’s dialogue regarding her wish for her daughter resembles the conflicted nature of feminist and anti-feminist beliefs.
Following this conflicting nature, Daisy’s failure to choose her desired suitor represents the failure of women to exert control in their marriages. Daisy’s belief that “rich girls don’t marry poor boys,” reflects the recognition of marital norms (The Great Gatsby 1974). Daisy was arguably forced by societal norms to marry Tom, the wealthy-elitist instead of Gatsby, the impoverished dreamer. Germaine Greer, addressed the confinement of marriage in her book, The Feminine Eunuch, which stated, “Marriage cannot be a job as it has become” (12). In the film, Clayton highlights Daisy’s failure to break free from the constraints of patriarchy during Daisy and Gatsby’s initial confrontation; everything from Daisy’s facial expression to her tear-jerked marriage affirmation is exaggerated. Throughout the film, Daisy is viewed as submissive as Tom, her husband, controls her actions, such as how to appropriately behave at social functions. Tom’s aggressive behavior underscores Daisy’s attempt to overcome patriarchy, as the patriarchy itself as characterized as controlling. Thus, Clayton intertwines the similarities between Daisy and the oppressed females of the era in which the film was produced.
Daisy’s plan regarding sexual power fails, as throughout the film, she is characterized as petty and vulnerable. Daisy Buchanan is painted as the Southern charm whose natural beauty and free spirit attracted suitors such as Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. Yet, Daisy’s seductive power over men is succeeded by her empty personality and her addiction to material wealth. In an interview with The New York Times, Mia Farrow, the actress who portrayed Daisy, stated that “the movie was a disappointment for her,” as Daisy Buchannan was a “hard part to play” as “Fitzgerald wrote very little description of her” (Jahr 24). Rather than...

Other Essays Like Jack Clayton’S The Great Gatsby And Second Wave Feminism

The Great Gatsby Essay

978 words - 4 pages The roaring twenties were a time of great success and wealth, but it also was time of greed and corruption. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is exceptional at portraying this view on the roaring twenties, especially the idea of corruption during this time. The most corrupt characters in the book hail from the eggs in this novel, where money and power create corrupt people. The themes of the novel, like that of the crumbling

The Great Gatsby Essay

1701 words - 7 pages The Great Gatsby in order to demonstrate how pursuing one's desires can lead to both destruction and growth. He accomplishes this by using Gatsby, Tom, Nick, and Daisy to show the consequences of their unrestrained desires, and the actions they took to achieve these desires. As the title infers, Jay Gatsby is nothing short of great. Gatsby has created his own society, a lonely and pseudo-upper class. This new class was built by Gatsby in order

The Great Gatsby

636 words - 3 pages In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s in America as an era of “decayed social and moral values,” evidenced in its greed and pursuit of pleasure. The reckless elation and enthusiasm that led to wild parties and jazz (like the extravagant, over-the-top parties Gatsby throws in the novel) resulted in the corruption of the American dream. The American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of

The Great Gatsby Essay

666 words - 3 pages 507561 Mr. Woodard English Lit 13 October 2008 Living the Past in the Present First time riding a bike. Graduating from college. Skydiving. Memorable past events mold a person’s present figure. Paramount past events in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald create Gatsby’s attitude and present actions towards various characters throughout the novel. Living in the past, Gatsby’s goals and aspirations are difficult to be achieved

The Great Gatsby Analysis

3019 words - 13 pages The Great Gatsby Post-It Assignment I. Paradise a. Gatsby 1. “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night,” went on Jordan, “but she never did. Then he began asking people casually if they knew her, and I was the first one he found. It was that night he sent for me at his dance, and you should have heard the elaborate way he worked up to it. Of course, I immediately suggested a luncheon in New

The Great Gatsby - 975 words

975 words - 4 pages n The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald offers up commentary on a variety of themes — justice, power, greed, betrayal, the American dream, and so on. Of all the themes, perhaps none is more well developed than that of social stratification. The Great Gatsby is regarded as a brilliant piece of social commentary, offering a vivid peek into American life in the 1920s. Fitzgerald carefully sets up his novel into distinct groups but, in the end, each group has

The Great Gatsby

1141 words - 5 pages The Great Gatsby and the 1920’s Alcohol was banned in every state, the Woman’s Right Movement flooded cities and The Great Gatsby was published. What do all of these things have in common? All of these events made up one decade, the 1920’s. None of these ’radical’ events were present during World War 1; life was very different and changed in a short amount of time. The “20’s” were a time of free will and revolution. Great examples of these

The Great Gatsby - 966 words

966 words - 4 pages “Discuss the ways in which a text offers a representation of a type of person or a group of people. Refer to at least one text. Texts, through the use of characters, have the ability to represent to us a certain group of people. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prominent novel, The Great Gatsby, we are introduced to the complex and eminent group of the 1920’s, the Aristocrats. The characters Daisy and Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker and Jay Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Essay

1258 words - 6 pages “Dreams are renewable no matter what our age or condition, they are still untapped possibilities within us and now beauty waiting to be born.” -anonymous This quote is portrayed in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. The novel begins when the main character Nick Caraway moves to a town in long island call west egg. He lives in modest home amongst extravagant mansions. His neighbor, Jay Gatsby, throws lavish parties almost every night

The Great Gatsby - 1473 words

1473 words - 6 pages , the pioneering spirit of the American Dream was revitalized. The nouveaux riches often clashed with the established wealth, as evident throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s narrator, Nick Carraway, suddenly finds himself submerged in the paper-thin morals, and shallow values of upper-class New York after migrating from the Western interior. Throughout the novel, Nick is highly cynical of American society. Thus, The Great

The Great Gatsby - 695 words

695 words - 3 pages Question Response: Symbol: Gatsby looks for Daisy in the green light at the end of her dock. Does any one in the story truly know Daisy? Does the light becomes a symbol for something else? ---No, there is nobody in the story truly know Daisy. The green light not only represents Daisy as a person ,but it also symbolizes a dream, an unattainable dream for Gatsby. And the dream just like his elusive future. As Nick states at the end of

Related Papers

Lies And Deception In The Great Gatsby

946 words - 4 pages “Every one suspects himself of one of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people I have ever known.“ This quote by Nick from The Great Gatsby ties well with The Great Gatsby’s theme: People may use dishonesty to get what they want, but in the end it may only serve to destroy them and the things and people they love. Outlined below are some examples where this theme can be found in the book

Lies And Deception In The Great Gatsby

957 words - 4 pages trustworthy. Someone that you believe is trustworthy may be a dishonest person and you do not know it. So you put your trust in them and they take advantage of your trust and betray you. That is not always the case, but sadly it does happen more than you would know. There are many themes in the book “The Great Gatsby”. I have decided to choose the following theme for a few solid reasons. People that are not trustworthy may be all around you. I

The Great Gatsby; Gatsby Analysis

695 words - 3 pages  The Great Gatsby Gatsby is a man of obsession. He created an idea of a man and became it, he obsessed over the fact that his new found life must be perfect. No one knew exactly who Gatsby was. They knew of him, but no one quite knew him, other than a selected few who helped create him. Gatsby was a man of many secrets, he kept his life private “When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet

The Great Gatsby 3 Essay

606 words - 3 pages In the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts Jay Gatsby’s dream of reliving the past and rekindling his love with Daisy Buchannan. This causes Gatsby to create a false identity; that of being a wealthy and prestigious man. Gatsby’s helpless love for Daisy blinds him from the responsibility he holds to himself. He has cast away his true character and personality only to become a shell of the person he once was. Gatsby goes to