A Woman's Role
“I waited but she didn’t say any more, and after a moment I returned
rather feebly to the subject of her daughter.
‘I suppose she talks, and –eats, and everything.’
‘Oh, yes.’ She looked at me absently. ‘Listen, Nick; let me tell you what I
said when she was born. Would you like to hear?’
‘It'll show you how I've gotten to feel about – things. Well, she was less
than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with
an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a
girl. 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.”
‘You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow,’ she went on in a convinced
way. ‘Everybody thinks so–the most advanced people. And I know. I’ve been
everywhere and seen everything and done everything.’ Her eyes flashed around
her in a defiant way, rather like Tom’s, and she laughed with thrilling scorn.
‘Sophisticated–God, I’m sophisticated!’” (Fitzgerald 16-17)
When Nick and Daisy are talking when Nick comes over for tea the first time after he has
moved to New York in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Nick asks Daisy about her
daughter and notices Daisy’s strange and cynical attitude. Daisy has a negative attitude toward
the role of women in this society and the world around her.
Daisy’s relationship with her daughter is nonexistent. Daisy responds by saying, “I
suppose she talks, and –eats, and everything” (Fitzgerald 16). The use of the word “suppose”
makes it seem as if she does not know much about her daughter. She knows she exists and that
she can do basic human functions, but she does not have a real relationship with this human she
created (16). Her daughter is another reminder to her that her only purpose in life is to create the
future of her family. Daisy goes on by “absently” replying to Nick during the conversation, not
caring about talking about her daughter (16). Women in this society are seen as objects and have
a certain role they have to fill. One of their jobs is to provide children and an heir for the family.
These women are then stuck with these children who they have to want for. For the rest of the
book, we do not hear about their daughter. She disappears, as if she never existed, and it goes to
show how these women are merely having kids as an obligation to society.
Daisy has realized that a woman’s life will be different than a man’s life in the end. It is
part of the reason why she is so cynical towards life. She tells Nick that, “It'll show you how I've
gotten to feel about – things” (16). The use of the word “things” is referring to the gender roles
of this time (16). She “asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl,” probably because she
knew the implications if it was a boy or a girl (16). If her child was a boy, he would have an...