Women’s Roles before and after the 1920s

One of the biggest changes that occurred in the 1920s, aka roaring 20s, was the role of women. Before the 1920s, women were expected to be caretakers, making sure their husband and children are fed and taken care of. Through “The Great Gatsby”, we see the role of women changed from this ideal of being a caretaker, to almost just being a trophy who could basically do nothing if they wealthy enough. Daisy Buchanan is not the typical caring mother or wife. In fact, throughout the novel its made clear she doesn’t necessarily care to much about her daughter. When Daisy first mentions her child, she doesn’t even specificy the gender (it’s a girl); then later when Nick asks about her daughter, she goes on to say “I suppose she talks, and–eats, and everything”, which is not the typical response a mother who “loves” her child would describe them as. She also said that she hopes her daughters grows up to be “beautiful fool.” Possibly her lack of interest in her child is because she is disappointed she had a daughter rather than a son; because in Daisy’s eyes women are inferior to men, and the only thing women are good for is too beautiful and ignorant. Daisy stays with a man who cheats on her, because she doesn’t really care about true love; only her reputation in society and her wealth matter which Tom Buchanan was able to provide. Daisy cheats on her husband with Jay Gatsby as well, showing that their entire marriage is built on disloyalty and lies. On one hand, its a good thing women are staying away from the ideal that there only job is to take care of their children and husbands and stay in the house; but is this negative light “The Great Gatsby” portrays women in much better? Yes, they are able to use their voices more and obtain power that they weren’t able to before, but it the grand scheme of things women roles before the 1920s and during the time period of the roaring 20s were not much better.

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