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Word Count: 593
What is the significance of the debasement of women in The Great Gatsby The early nineteen hundreds was a time of political reform for women The Congressional Union for Women Suffrage was formed in 1914 the National Womans Party was created in 1916 and the 19th Amendment which granted womens suffrage was ratified in 1920 Even though the crusade for womens rights was successful the majority of the population still saw women as second-class citizens F Scott Fitzgerald successfully demonstrates the actual treatment of women in the 1920s in The Great Gatsby One of the most obvious representations of the degradation of women is when Tom breaks Myrtles nose Mr McKee a witness to this act of brutality is sleeping on the couch as the confrontation began He is roused from his nap by Myrtles long broken wail of pain and starts in a daze toward the door He then turns around and stares at the despairing figure on the couch bleeding fluently and continues out the door p 41 He then proceeds to casually invite Nick to lunch any old time This indifferent reaction to such violence exhibits the lack of respect towards women shown by many a man in that time period Toms deficiency of self-control was his way of exerting power over his mistress His actions also illustrate his brutality He is considered one of the members of high society yet acts animalistic in his reactions to Myrtle saying the name of his wife If he truly were high class wouldnt he have the decency to act like it His contradiction of word and action reveals the overall hypocrisy of the high society in the 1920s The next example of the debasement of women is subtle At the commencement of chapter three Nick discusses Gatsbys parties on summer nights He mentions the arrival of men and girls in the gardens p 43 His interesting word choice seems to present a view the
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