Blatant Double Standards in the Great Gatsby: Why Relationships Were So Complex

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Dana Dabbousi English 10 Ms. Gramolini

April 29th, 2013

The Great Gatsby

Prompt: Fitzgerald uses his novel to portray and critique a number of male-female relationships, some married, some not. Analyze the nature of male-female relationships in the novel (use at least 3 separate examples).

'The Great Gatsby' has many great examples of the newly introduced types of male-female relationships during the 1920s. Many of these relationships are between already married couples and adultery is shown to be increasingly more common. Before these times, marriage was the only acceptable way a woman could be in a relationship with a man. Dating wasn't predominantly conventional, and adultery was definitely not tolerated. In this book, we see many different forms of male-female relationships: Daisy and Tom are married but are both committing adultery with their partners Gatsby and Myrtle, while Myrtle is also cheating on her poor husband George Wilson. We also see Nick and Jordan dating, however as Daisy mentions early in the book, it would not be right for them to get married because he was not rich, she suggested they simply had an affair, and only jokes about them getting married when she says, "I'll arrange a marriage.

Come over often, Nick, and I'll sort of-oh-fling you together. You know-lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat, and all that sort of thing--"

Class structure was very important during these times, there was to be no socializing between classes; the rich were horrified of the idea of marrying anyone below them. However, the poor were desperate to marry the rich, thinking they deserved a better life than what they grew up with. We see this when Myrtle marries Wilson saying, "I married him because I thought he was a gentleman,' …...