Here, I use the radical-cultural feminism in analyzing the appearance of Daisy as the oppressed character in the novel of “The Great Gatsby”
The existence of the character in the novel that reveals the oppression is not viewed from one side. Although the character’s role is single role but it has an essential meaning of its existence. Though Aristotle states that the character is secondary and not the first essential in literary thing is the plot (Bennett & Royle, 2004:60). Here, the writer focuses on analyzing the secondary character, Daisy in the novel of “The Great Gatsby” since she is as a hope of Gatsby’s motivation and obsession. But, the presence of Daisy is controlled by her husband, Tom Buchanan. It shows that in the story if this novel, describes how the Daisy as the oppressed character and how she responses to the oppression. The oppression in this case raises from the household. Despite the fact that Tom Buchanan is the mediator of the cruelty and Daisy is the victim of the oppression. Yet, some critics write that Daisy’s existence in this novel judge her as in a bad manner. As written by Robert Ornstein that Daisy is “Criminally Amoral” as cited in (Person, 1978:250). In addition, Alfred Kazin describes Daisy about her “vulgar and inhuman” as cited in (Person, 1978:250). It means that Daisy has a bad character and judged as cruel female and she also leaves the Gatsby without permission. More than it, in another review showed that Daisy is the one who does not responsible about the Gatsby’s death (Houck, 2008:1). It can be considered by her action as the source of Gatsby’s death. She is a careless woman. “….they were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then recreated back into their money or their cast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made” (Fitzgerald, 1998:191). It shows in the story that Daisy leaves Gatsby and ignores about Gatsby’s death alone so that she can be said as a selfish person. Briefly, all argument in some reviews above stated about the portrayal Daisy’s characterization in the novel.
Even though there are some critics state Daisy is an irresponsible woman, the factual in the story that Daisy is a woman as oppressed character. The oppressed character appear in the form of gender and sex systems which are applied by limiting Daisy’s role. Even it happened in some aspect such as religion, mothering, reproduction choosing of sexual relationship, and violence, including physical and psychological violence. The form of oppressions tends to tell that “woman experienced is not all in same way or to the same degree and that the end of feminist struggle cannot simply (Tutle, 1986:232). Daisy is characterized as oppressed character through Tom’s behaviors of her. Almost day by day, Tom dominates all ways in controlling and leading Daisy, including in mothering, reproduction, religion as Tom’s reason and violence. It can be proven by daisy’s life after her marriage. Thus, related to the second question, daisy responds her oppression also in many ways. Her efforts to lessen her oppression are represented in ways depending on her problems.
In the novel of the great Gatsby, Daisy experiences the oppression in the form of mothering. Something occurred to Daisy when she should do to take care of her child, and it is not contracted mother who takes care of her child. It related to radical cultural feminism which disagree with a contracted mother. In another case, Daisy also experiences the oppression in the form of reproduction. It is related to radical cultural feminism which agrees that the power of women is reproduction. Reproduction in this case is ability to bear an infant. Whereas Daisy is able to bear an infant but she experiences the oppression in her daily life that come from alienation when she gives birth. Meanwhile, Daisy struggles to deliver her baby because she believe that the best one to do is to bear an infant in this world. Moreover, the oppression in the aspect of violence that experienced by Daisy is caused by her husband. Usually, to reduce the oppression Daisy claims to her husband, but she failed in attempt to escape from Tom’s dominance till Daisy experiences the oppression in the form of choosing the sexual relationship. Because of her oppression done by her husband, it caused she has both men, Tom and Gatsby. In addition, Daisy then choose Tom rather than Gatsby as her life partner because she is under Tom’s control, she is sometimes dating with Gatsby as her resistance form to escape from Tom’s control. However, even though Daisy tries to escape from Tom, she has no success in being free from Tom’s dominance. The last oppression experience by Daisy is religion as the reason for Tom’s control her indirectly. When Tom has another woman, it makes Daisy to have a chance to leave even divorce him. Even though she has a reason by stating but he still dominate Daisy because he says that his religion does not allow them to divorce.
As the conclusion, Daisy is more oppressed after she gets married than in condition before she gets married. After she gets married, Daisy experiences physical and psychological violence, and experiences other oppression related to mothering, reproduction, and religion that become Tom’s ways in oppressing Daisy. In addition, Daisy also experiences choosing the sexual relationship before getting married and it becomes continuing fragment for Daisy’ marriage with Tom. More intensively, Daisy is character who experiences as a marginal wife in the household. The presence of another women in Tom’s life and Tom’s treatments which oppresses Daisy in many ways proves that Daisy has no important role in his life. Briefly, the story states that daisy stays with Tom rather than Gatsby. It shows that the ending of this story that Daisy capable of change Tom’s behavior from immoral to respectable way event though she ignores Gatsby’s death tragically as her ways.