A Study of Misogyny in the Great Gatsby毕业论文
The Great Gatsby is a long short story written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. The historical background of the story is 1920’s America. The writer sticks to his style of writing, pays great attention to the descriptions of the American modern urbanism. The three main female characters in the novel are descried in a negative way. At the same time, almost all the male characters in the novel show their hatred for woman in some degree. It helps us draw the conclusion that misogyny exist in The Great Gatsby. Then, after analyzing these characters from different classes, we get the results that the manifestation of misogyny differs in class. Each class has its own feature of misogyny.
Key words: Francis Scott Fitzgerald; The Great Gatsby; misogyny; class ; feature
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 1
2. Demonstration 2
2.1 Misogyny and the social class 3
2.1.1 Definition and origin of misogyny 3
2.1.2 The categorization of social class in America 4
2.2 Different descriptions of female characters from different classes 4
2.2.1 The upper class –“irresolute”women 4
2.2.2 The middle class–“untruthful”women 5
2.2.3 The underclass–“peacockish”women 6
2.3 Different descriptions of male characters from different classes 7
2.3.1 The upper class–treat women as goods 7
2.3.2 The middle class–exaggerate the fault of women 9
2.3.3 The underclass–consider women as an emasculated group 10
The Innocent Suffer——An Analysis of the Misogyny in The Great Gatsby
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896-1940) is one of the most splendid writers in the history of American literature. As a successful writer, he is really good at narrating stories. Different from many traditional writers who attach great importance to the writing skills, Fitzgerald focuses more upon the descriptions of details. He leaves us a large number of excellent works. The Grate Gatsby is one of them. It was published in 1925 and helps Fitzgerald establish his irreplaceable status in the literary world. He becomes the most representative writer of the “Jazz Age” and the spokesman of the “lost generation.”
The historical background of the story is the 1920s’ America– a turning point of the American history. The World WarⅠclaims a large number of lives, especially men. They suffer a big loss in number while woman becomes more and more active in the political stage. The position of woman has been greatly improved and the traditional figure of woman has been gradually changed. The patriarchal society ruled by man is in face of a big challenge. As a result, males’ hatred and dislike for female has been greatly enhanced. The symptom of misogyny becomes more and more obvious, especially in the literary world. A lot of novels show us this kind of prejudice for woman. The Great Gatsby is one of them. Almost all the female characters in the story are described in a negative way without any exception.
Till now, the novel has been wildly studied by scholars all over the world as the sample of the 1920’s American literature. W. J. Harvey has conducted several researches upon the story. In the thesis “Theme in The Grate Gatsby”, his exploration shows us the story is not a simply love story. Fitzgerald wants to express something more meaningful. He wants us to consider his novel as the epitome of 1920s’ American society that it reflects the darkness and the void of that time. Also, through analyzing the failure of Gatsby, W. J. Harvey’s research helps us to understand the destruction of the “American dream.” In the thesis “The Symbolic Meaning in The Great Gatsby”, Zhang Ruihua shows us that “Fitzgerald employs a lot of symbolic meanings in the story and these symbolic meanings helps us to find some secret emotion” (Zhang 9). He dose really well in discovering these inconspicuous but not in important symbolic meanings from different perspectives. After analyzing these symbolic meanings, he further discusses the combination of the emotional and the rational symbolic meaning to help us have a better understanding of the story. In virtue of the usage of symbolic meaning, Fitzgerald makes the story become the dramatic symbol of the human culture. Guo Na focuses on the technique of impressionism in The Great Gatsby. In her study, she finds “the writer Fitzgerald found it hard to apart his writing from drawing” (Guo 48). She points out that Fitzgerald dose not show us the characters’ emotion directly. Instead, he tells people the inward world of these characters through the descriptions of the “color” or the “light”. This technique of writing makes The Great Gatsby to be one of the most famous novels in American history. All of these researches make great contributions to the study of The Great Gatsby. However, most of the researches concentrate on topic like the destruction of “American Dream,” the narrative techniques, the failure of the love story, and etc. It’s rare for us to find some studies about misogyny. It’s even much harder for us to find studies about misogyny from the angle of class. As a result, this thesis will focus on the misogyny in The Great Gatsby from the characters of different classes. Also, it’s going to further explore the manifestations of misogyny inform different classes. By analyzing the descriptions of main characters in the novel to prove that the symptoms of misogyny differ in different classes.
2.1 Misogyny and the social class