What are Tom's and Nick's attitudes toward women in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Tom and Nick both take a dismissive attitude toward women in The Great Gatsby. Tom, a wealthy and entitled man, feels he has a right to betray Daisy by having affairs with lower-class women, a situation that begins almost as soon as he and Daisy are married. He treats...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Tom and Nick both take a dismissive attitude toward women in The Great Gatsby. Tom, a wealthy and entitled man, feels he has a right to betray Daisy by having affairs with lower-class women, a situation that begins almost as soon as he and Daisy are married. He treats his girlfriend in the novel, Myrtle, poorly, hitting her and giving her a nosebleed when she annoys him and running away from any responsibility when Daisy runs Myrtle over and kills her. Women are a convenience to Tom, and while he stands by Daisy, he doesn't feel any need to be faithful to her.

Nick is kinder than Tom, but he still treats women poorly. He leads a girlfriend in Chicago to believe he is in love with her when in reality he would like to break off the relationship. Tom and Daisy have both heard rumors that Nick is engaged to this woman, which Nick denies, but the existence of the rumors and his own continuing correspondence with her suggests he is leading her on. He also dismisses Jordan as a liar, has a distaste for Myrtle, and sees Daisy as emotionally manipulative: women receive a good deal of criticism from Nick.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on