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The Great Gatsby
Transcript of The Great Gatsby
Etiquette for Upper Class Women
Upper class women during the 1920's were experiencing changes in social expectations while still retaining many of the gender stereotypes. Despite some prevailing general restrictions, the women were able to find outlets of expression and did have freedom to do as they please for the most part.
Role of the Socialite
Socialite: originated as a code word in 1928 by Briton Haddon, cofounder of Time magazine.
An American term
Visited speakeasies, and later clubs.
Not affected by the Stock Market Crash or the Great Depression, formed societies
Were involved in meeting famous actors/actresses
Married into rich families
At first didn't mind etiquette, but post Prohibition etiquette was respected.
Etiquette For Lower Class Men
During the 1920's many lower class men were affected by World War I, which had just taken place. Soldiers had experienced new customs and cultures while in Europe. Lower class men were generally more crude than their upper class counterparts due to their low standards of living. Lower class men had much worse jobs and living conditions. Flat caps and loose suits were popular among this class.
Upper class men in the 1920s were at the top of the social hierarchy. They were expected to keep their lives private from other people and generally not discuss personal information. Men were supposed to open doors for women, formally introduce people, and promote interesting conversation. They wore somewhat formal clothing in the 20s, and suits were very popular, especially tuxedos for formal occasions. Men also wore sport clothes such as sweaters and knickers, as well as top hats or straw boaters depending on the situation.
Men's Effect on Women
"She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. "All right," I said, 'I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.'" (p.17)
The Great Gatsby
Etiquette For Upper Class Men
Symbol: East/West Egg
Social standards were much more imperative for white collar class ladies. Townhouses had names like "Blenheim" or "Windsor" and were intended to copy the stately homes of the nobility. The work was paid not just by the working class lady grimaced upon, it excessively debilitated, making it impossible to do housework, which a developing armed force of specific staff including cleaning specialists, babysitters, cooks and footmen left. But the real capacity of a white collar class lady was to demonstrate the budgetary achievement of her spouse by stocking your home with material belonging - what has been known as the "trappings of consideration."
“Tom’s got some woman in
New York”, who hasn’t “the decency no to disturb at dinner” (p. 16).
Myrtle is a voluptuous and sultry woman, though the vitality and liveliness of her personality is demonstrated even when being confronted with her husband in the garage, shouting “‘Beat me!’ he heard her cry. ‘Throw me down and beat me, you dirty
little coward!’” (p. 109)
"At intervals she appeared suddenly at his side like an angry diamond, and hissed: "You promised!" into his ear. - Nick Carraway (pg. 51)
" This is a valley of ashes-a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens...of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. -Nick Carraway (pg. 23)
"'She's a nice girl,' said Tom after a moment. 'They oughtn't let her run around the country this way...She's going to spend lots of week-ends out here this summer, I think the home influence will be very good for her.'" (p.18-19)
Men initially thought that women should only be concerned with the home life and raising children. They were considered the property of men and therefore were discouraged from holding a job or owning property. The lack of responsibility given to women pushed women to strive toward equality. Not all men supported women entering politics and reforms and continues to place limiting factors on them. In "The Great Gatsby," Daisy represents a women entirely influenced by her husband where she abides by his opinion and is fully supported by him as she remains at home. Jordan represents the a woman who refuses to let opinions of men limit her as she takes on a "masculine" job.
The society in "The Great Gatsby" is split up based on location, East Egg, West Egg, and the Valley of Ashes. Those living in East Egg, such as Tom and Daisy, represent individuals who are wealthy due to "old money." Individuals living in West Egg, such as Gatsby, are rich due to "new money." Finally, those living in the Valley of Ashes represent the poor, lower class. While East and West Egg are in the same class,the differences come with subtle social status issues. People who are “new money” are seen by “old money” as gaudy and overly extravagant. However, they both look down on the individuals from the Valley of Ashes, who are below them in the social hierarchy and will never attain their wealth.
"You live in West Egg," she remarked contemptuously. "I know somebody there."."I don’t know a single——"."You must know Gatsby." (Ch.1 pgs 58-61)
"I told that boy about the ice." Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. "These people! You have to keep after them all the time." She looked at me and laughed pointlessly... (Ch.2 pgs 69-70)
East and West Egg represent the clash between "new" and "old" money and the divide in society due to this during the time period. Residents of East Egg are shown to have an unexplained resentment towards the residents of East Egg. In addition the East Eggers, such as Daisy, find the lifestyle of West Egg to be decadent and rambunctious as compared to their civilized gatherings. Nick could technically live in East Egg, but identifies with West Egg because he is trying to make a name for himself.
"Moved by an irresistible impulse, Gatsby turned to Tom, who had accepted the introduction as a stranger. 'I believe we've met somewhere before, Mr. Buchanan.' 'Oh, yes,' said Tom, gruffly polite, but obviously not remembering.' " (102)
"...Daisy's voice on a clear artificial note: 'I certainly am awfully glad to see you again.' ... 'We've met before,' muttered Gatsby." (86)
Consumerism increased in the 1920's as people began extravagantly buying items using credit without thinking about repayment. During this period of increased buying, the economy boomed. People took advantage of the economic boom by investing in shares. This plays into Nick's career who makes his money by working in bonds. Consumerism can also be seen in how Gatsby spends his money. He throws money at extravagant parties by buying unnecessary items and his spending is also displayed by his car.
"Milkovich Helps." Milkovich Helps. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2015. <http://milkovichhelps.tumblr.com/post/54362340000/guide-on-etiquette-in-the-1920s-in-this-guide>.
"Proper Etiquette." A Gatsby Party. N.p., 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 18 May 2015. <https://youhavebeeninvited.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/proper-etiquette/>.
Man Opens Door for Woman. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2015. <http://listverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/man-opening-door-for-lady.jpg>.
Boater Hat. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2015. <https://vintagevandalizm.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/actor-maurice-chevalier-in-boater-hat.jpg>.
"Socialites: A History." New York Social Diary. N.p., 11 May 2007. Web. 18 May 2015.
Petersen, Anne H. "Rebels in Pearls: The Flappers - Socialites, Actresses, Artists - Were Jazz Age Celebrities." Valley News. N.p., 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 May 2015.
4. Two Classes of Women. Sanger, Margaret. 1920. Woman and the New Race." 4. Two Classes of Women. Sanger, Margaret. 1920. Woman and the New Race. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2015.
Benner, Louise. "Women in the 1920s in North Carolina." Women in the 1920s. NCPedia, Spring 2004. Web. 18 May 2015. <http://ncpedia.org/history/20th-Century/1920s-women>.
American-Historama. "Women in the 1920s." : Changing Roles and Famous Women for Kids ***. American-Historama, n.d. Web. 18 May 2015. <http://www.american-historama.org/1913-1928-ww1-prohibition-era/women-in-the-1920s.htm>.
Dumenil, Lynn. "The New Woman and the Politics of the 1920S." OAH Magazine of History 21.3, Reinterpreting the 1920s (2007): 22-26. Between the Wars. Truman Library, July 2007. Web. 14 May 2015. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/educ/betweenthewars/Reinterpreting1920s.pdf>.
"Anyhow, he gives large parties...and I like large parties. They're so intimate..." - Jordan Baker (pg. 49)
Lower Class Men's Fashion. Digital image. Imgarcade. N.p., Jan. 2014. Web. May 2015.
In the novel, Cars, clothes, wealth, and fashion are external displays of success that more prevalently shown in West Egg resident's new rich as opposed to the wealthy East Egg old rich. As seen in the similarity in wealth owned by the rich between both sides of the city, one can assume that wealth and external displays of value are not the issue that divides Gatsby's life from that of Daisy's but rather mannerisms established by the old rich, which results in Gatsby's outcome in the novel.
Working Men. Digital image. Bitesize. BBC, n.d. Web. May 2015
"Historical Books - Recommended Reading List." Luscious MyLusciousLifecom RECOMMENDED READING Fortune Frocks Fops and Flops a Look at Some British and American Social History Comments. N.p., 07 Feb. 2013. Web. 18 May 2015.
"Wandering Mind." Wandering Mind RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2015.
In The Great Gatsby
, the two kinds of upper class women can be exemplified by Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker. Daisy proves to be a submissive wife to Tom, yet she also ventures out of the approved feminine standards by having an affair with Gatsby. Jordan, on the other hand, is an independent woman with her own career that she established (even if under one questionable circumstance) and does not have a partner. She shows the spirit of the decade where women were experimenting with style, expression, and how they presented themselves and slowly eroding the bonds that men had controlled them with for centuries.
About Jordan: "I noticed that she wore her evening-dress, all her dresses, like sports clothes- there was a jauntiness about her movements..." (p 50)
"You know I love you,"... "You forget there's a lady present"... "What a low, vulgar girl!"... "I don't care!" (p 116)