Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Feminist response

        Lois Tyson was extremely inaccurate with her Feminist reading of The Great Gatsby. She stretches far from the truth, and twists Fitzgerald's words to prove her point and personal opinion.
        Tyson starts out by comparing all three woman, Daisy, Myrtel, and Jordan to the New Woman stereotype. This comparison has the potential be accurate, until Tyson digs deeper into the characters' personalities. Tyson says, "Despite their striking differences in class, occupation, marital status, personal appearance, and personality traits..." There are no other traits left for Tyson to say are similar
between the three woman! She goes on to discuss how the woman are portrayed in a bad light
 because of how Fitzgerald describes the "New Woman" within the woman characters.
        Tyson is harsh while criticizing Daisy's character. She writes, "That the novel finds this freedom unacceptable in woman is evident in its unsympathetic portrayals of those who exercise it. Daisy
Buchanan is characterized as a spoiled brat and a remorseless killer." This quotation is over the top and inaccurate. Fitzgerald describes the woman in his novel to be like the woman in the 1920s. He based their characters off of society, and it is hard to believe he purposely made Daisy a "spoiled brat" and
 "remorseless killer". Tyson says Daisy is a spoiled brat because of her attraction to Tom Buchanan
and his money; although this is just evidence of the social class structure and expectations in the 1920s.
Tyson also comments on the neglect of Daisy's daughter, Pammy, throughout the novel.
She writes, "Daisy's life does not revolve exclusively around her maternal role." Pammy is mentioned
once at the beginning of the novel, and never brought up again. I believe this is because the child plays no important role in the story. Tyson is suggesting that the neglect of Pammy is more evidence of
Daisy's "New Woman" characterization portrayed in a bad light.
       Over all, I do not agree with Tyson's feminist reading of the Great Gatsby. She leads her
 readers to believe that Fitzgerald was being extremely sexist while writing his novel, and purposely
 made the "new woman" characters have terrible qualities. This accusation is absurd. Also, at the
beginning of Tyson's essay, she looks at Fitzgerald's personal life, which is not an accurate way to
apply the feminist theory to a text. Fitzgerald was married to a "new woman", so why would he purposely portray the "new woman" characters to be terrible people?

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