What is the difference between male and female attitudes in the first chapter of The Great Gatsby?Include actions, diction, how they are introduced and what they talk about. Include evidence.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The first significant introduction we see in Chapter One is when Nick tells us of a visit ot the house of Tom Buchanan, an acquaintance from Yale University, and his wife, Daisy, Nick's second cousin once removed. Buchanan is physically powerful and extremely wealthy. Nick also meets Daisy's friend, Jordan Baker, who is a golfer.

Tom makes racist comments, drawing support for his views from a recently published book. Jordan tells Nick that Tom is having an affair, and that this mistress is responsible for a phone call during dinner.

Tom is clearly presented as an arrogant and powerful man:

Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward.

His body has "enormous power" and is described as a "cruel body." Certainly his comments about racism and the fact that he has a mistress shows that he is a chauvinistic and arrogant individual.

The two women, Jordan and Daisy, are described in terms that present them as women that are to be viewed and looked at. Both seem to want to present themselves as beautiful and their looks have an element of pretension:

They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.

They also have little to contribute in terms of meaningful conversation, interspersing what conversation there is with comments like "I'm stiff!" and "How gorgeous!" It is clear that in this world women are objects and treated as such.

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