Monday, December 3, 2012

Feminist Fluff

         Lois Tyson's reading of the Great Gatsby through the feminist theory was perhaps even more of a stretch than her Marxist reading. Tyson stumbles in her attempts to force sexism on the Great Gatsby. Tyson gives one example of, "Benny McClenahan's 'four girls (123)'" The novel describes how one man, Benny, always shows up with different girls who are very similar to eachother. Tyson tries to make this out to to be against women, when in reality it says more about Benny than it does the girls. The fact that this man is commitment-phobic and shows up with new women all the time shows him in a negative light, not the girls. On the same note, Tyson references to when Myrtle is shouting Daisy's name, and "Her punishment for saying Daisy's name is swift and merciless: 'Making a short, deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.' (127)" This too, speaks more of Tom and what a terrible person he is, rather than Myrtle being punished for saying Daisy's name. It is quite clear that Myrtle is not in the wrong, and it shows off Tom's agressive behavior. Finally, Tyson tries to say that Gatsby write Myrtle out to be ugly, with, "neither the youth nor beauty of Daisy and Jordan. (126)" However, Tyson contradicts herself in the next couple of sentences, pointing out how Nick describes Myrtle as sensuous and smoldering, two words with quite a positive, attractive connotation. Throughout the feminist reading of the Great Gatsby, Lois Tyson disappoints with her hole-riddled analyzation.

Why does Tyson assume people do not like Jordan? (I rather liked her)
Why does Tyson ignore Gatsby's 'punishment' for the extramarital affair, while focusing on Myrtle's? They both died, didn't they?

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