Function of Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby Essay

Function of Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby Essay

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jordan Baker is a minor character who Fitzgerald uses to critique the idea of a flapper. Fitzgerald believes that the flapper is empty, and uses Jordan as a contrast to other female characters in the novel to show this emptiness. Fitzgerald also argues that females are nothing but a tool to get men to act and become better people. This argument is shown through Jordan’s interactions with Nick. Fitzgerald also uses Jordan to develop the plot and to characterize Nick.
Fitzgerald uses Jordan as a messenger that accesses private spaces, even though she keeps herself private, Nick even says that “the bored haughty face that she turned to the world concealed something” (Fitzgerald 57). During the 1920s, people valued their secrets, as shown through their paintings. Jordan, though her posture- she is always seen standing with her shoulders “back like a young cadet” (11) or “sitting up very straight” (74)-always seemed to make her seem transparent, had a face that hid something. Nick compares her to one of the conservative 1920s paintings by saying that she “looked like a good illustration” (177). Though Jordan herself is a private person, Nick and reader often get information through her. She is also one of the only characters that can provide the reader with a view that is not as biased as Nick’s. Jordan is used not only for the purpose of giving insight to Nick’s personality, she is also used to develop plot by revealing information to the narrator. It is through Jordan that we learn about the history between Daisy and Gatsby. She is a messenger for Gatsby, telling Nick things that Gatsby was too embarrassed to tell him himself. Jordan is also a foil for Daisy. Jordan gives the reader more th...

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...o ended the relationship.
Jordan is a character that Fitzgerald uses to move the story along and provide insight to the personalities of other characters, like Nick, Daisy, and Gatsby. She serves as a messenger through which plot progresses. She is also a character that differs from others physically and personality-wise, providing a contrast necessary to distinguish between portraits (like Daisy) and people- Nick does not seem to realize that Jordan is not really like a person. We can also see Nick’s changes through his interactions with Jordan, whenever something happened between Nick and Tom, Daisy, or Gatsby, Nick would do something with Jordan. Fitzgerald uses Jordan to do all of these things, because she seems to be the only character that does not want anything. She is easy to use as a tool, because she is not a person that is portrayed as being very human.

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