The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Book Review



The fictional novel, The Great Gatsby, is narrated by Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota. The novel takes place in the 1920’s and portrays the story of Jay Gatsby, or his real name, James Gatz. Nick narrates the story of wealthy young adults, from an outsider's perspective. Nick rents a house for the summer next to Gatsby in the West Egg. The West Egg is filled with people from new money, and across the bay is the East Egg, the more sophisticated residents who were born into this privileged life. Nick has a short relationship with Jordan Baker, a golfer from New York City, throughout this novel, and he observes the love triangle of Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Tom Buchanan. The secrets of the characters' so called ‘perfect lives’ are revealed, and they aren’t so perfect after all. Tom has an affair with Myrtle Wilson and no one seems to be loyal in this part of town. F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays a message through these female characters and their stereotypes in the 1920’s. Fitzgerald’s writes the women in the novel contrasting from the men. Apart from all their similarities, the three women, Myrtle, Daisy, and Jordan, have many differences as well including social class, appearance, personalities, and much more. 

Myrtle, Daisy, and Jordan compare greatly when it comes to men. The three women struggle with loyalty in their relationships and crave male attention. Daisy is not loyal to Tom,   she has an affair with Gatsby, and Tom does the same when Myrtle cheats on George Wilson,her husband, to be with Tom. In most cases, these ladies fall into the blueprint of a typical woman in the 1920’s. Myrtle and Daisy do not work, and depend on their husbands to support them. Jordan also does not work, although she does not have a husband. They are very selfish at times, especially when spending money they did not work for. They all crave attention and seem to put on an act for males. They seem innocent or ignorant, to attract males. “I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool,” PAGE NUMBER Daisy says when describing her daughter, because being clueless was better than knowing the truth. Daisy, Myrtle, and Jordan are very materialistic. Daisy and Jordan live in New York City and the East Egg and are very wealthy. Myrtle enjoys the rich life just as much as them, even though she lives in the Valley of Ashes, a poor suburb. Myrtle has an affair with Tom in hopes of making her way into their way of living. Lastly, these women do not always succeed, even if it seems like it from the outside. Myrtle never receives Tom’s full attention, Daisy is married to someone she does not love, and Jordan gets her way through golf tournaments. Without a doubt these women can be very comparable, but they have distinct traits that separate them from each other.

Myrtle is in a very different social class from Myrtle and Jordan. She is not wealthy, and she lives in the Valley of Ashes. She is married to a local mechanic, who could not make his own business.  She does not have the money to go to college, so she is uneducated. Myrtle is also a golddigger and uses Tom for his money. Tom buys her an apartment, a dog, and more. Myrtle’s appearance is much different than the others as well. She is not described as conventionally attractive, her positive energy is what attractives men, unlike Daisy who relies on her looks. Lastly, Myrtle’s personality gravitates others, but has many flaws. She lives a double life with Tom and lies to everyone around her to cover this up. 

Daisy lives in the East Egg and prides herself on her wealth. She is the golden girl. “Her voice is full of money,” PAGE NUMBER Gatsby says when describing Daisy. Daisy grew up wealthy, so she is educated unlike Myrtle. Daisy is beautiful, described much differently than Myrtle or Jorden. She is the ideal girl, what every man wants. She is attractive, wealthy, and sweet. She may put on an act to seem perfect, but is very charming, people tend to gravitate towards her. This is very opposite from Jordan. Daisy does have her flaws, she became so jealous of Tom and Myrtle’s affair that she killed Myrtle. This is very hypocritical of Daisy, because she is doing the exact same thing with Gatsby. She is in love with gatsby, but married to Tom. Personally, I don’t think Myrtle would ever go to such an extreme to murder someone, she has higher morals than Daisy. 

Jordan is an independent woman who lives in New York City and is friends with Daisy Buchanan. She defies stereotypes in the time, when she golfs. It is not typical to be a female professional athlete at this time. Jordan is wealthy, when she makes money from golf, and does not depend on a man. She is single, despite her short lived relationship with Nick. Jordan’s appearance is much different than Myrtle and Daisy’s because she is an athlete, Jordan wears pants, which is very bizarre for women, but she is attractive. Jordan is confident and described as a ‘social butterfly’ at Gatsby’s parties. Myrtle differs from Myrtle and Daisy because she is very careless and she is a liar. “I hate careless people, that’s why I like you,”PAGE NUMBER Jordan tells Nick. Jordan is oblivious to her own self when she says this, hypocritical. Jordan also lies to cheat in golf and her biggest fault is her gossipping. Jordan even told Nick about Tom and Myrtle’s affair. “Tom has some woman in New York,” PAGE NUMBER Jordan tells Nick while they’re out to dinner. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays a message through these female characters in The Great Gatsby. During this time, prohibition was enforced and most women vowed to keep their husbands or fathers sober and supported prohibition. Daisy, Myrtle, and Jordan all defy these norms and drink alcohol. Daisy portrays the stereotypical woman of this time. She marries a rich, attractive man, depends on others, and is very pessimistic. She is what some call a ‘trophy wife’. Myrtle is a typical golddigger of this time. She relies on her looks to attract men, not having to work for what she receives. She is materialistic, but chasing her dreams, despite the corruption of the 20’s. Jordan is a ‘new woman’ in the 1920's. She is a liar and cheater, but her wealth brings her success. She does not care for anything but her personal gain. Despite this, she is independent and does not have a husband that she depends on. She has become a professional female athlete and she has created her fortune with golf, which is rare. In my opinion, I believe Fitzgerald's message is portrayed through multiple scenes. Fitzgerald describes the poor women as ‘women’ and the wealthy as ‘girls’ because the wealthy are immature. Myrtle dies to show that women can no longer rely purely on beauty to get through their life. Lastly, Jordan is the only of the women that come out alive and not a killer in the end. This is because she is independent and changing the stereotype for women all around. Overall, Fitzgerald spread a positive message on the outlook of women, in hopes for a change in our society's outlook on their role.

The novel, The Great Gatsby, has a great lesson in the deeper meaning of it. The women especially, tell a lot to the reader. Myrtle, Daisy, and Jordan, are similar in the way they act and some of their personality traits, but they differ in social class, appearance, and some qualities. They represent the stereotypical women from the 1920’s and the upcoming women. In conclusion, I think this novel is a prominent example of the wealthy at this time, and the truth behind it and we all can learn from Myrtle, Daisy, and Jordan’s mistakes.