The Great Gatsby
Gender Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
It made no difference to me. Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply – I was casually sorry, and then I forgot. It was on that same house party that we had a curious conversation about driving a car. It started because she passed so close to some workmen that our fender flicked a button on one man's coat. (3.159)
Women. Just remember to lower your expectations and you'll never be disappointed, right?
"Yes," he said after a moment, "but of course I'll say I was. You see, when we left New York she was very nervous and she thought it would steady her to drive – and this woman rushed out at us just as we were passing a car coming the other way. It all happened in a minute, but it seemed to me that she wanted to speak to us, thought we were somebody she knew. Well, first Daisy turned away from the woman toward the other car, and then she lost her nerve and turned back. The second my hand reached the wheel I felt the shock – it must have killed her instantly." (7.396-398)
Gatsby immediately says that he'll take the blame. This is chivalry at work—great, right? Well, maybe, until you realize that it means women never having to take responsibility for their actions, and never having to grow up. Personally, we'll take the responsibility.
Through this twilight universe Daisy began to move again with the season; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with half a dozen men, and drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads and chiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floor beside her bed. And all the time something within her was crying for a decision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately – and the decision must be made by some force – of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality – that was close at hand. (8.19)
You get the feeling that Fitzgerald thinks that women are fundamentally incapable of making up their minds, and so they have to have some dude do it for them. In that way, The Great Gatsby is really about the fight between Gatsby and Tom: whose vision of America is going to win?