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How does F. Scott Fitzgerald use the word "dizzy" in the following passage to...

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coutelle | Valedictorian

Posted June 30, 2013 at 11:36 PM via web

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How does F. Scott Fitzgerald use the word "dizzy" in the following passage to further the reader's understanding of Jordan's character in the last chapter of The Great Gatsby?

"Nevertheless you did throw me over," said Jordan suddenly. "You threw me over on the telephone. I don't give a damn about you now but it was a new experience for me and I felt a little dizzy for a while."

 

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 1, 2013 at 12:04 AM (Answer #1)

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Jordan Baker is one of a number of wildly self-centered characters Fitzgerald created to develop the theme of corruption in his novel; while the narrator, Nick Carraway, is initially a bit smitten with her, and they even date for awhile; however, he comes to understand that besides being selfish and egocentric, she is a person of no character, who is dishonest whenever it suits her purposes; for example, she is known to have cheated in a well-known golf tournament.  Nick was aware of the news story about the golf tournament and her cheating scandal, but is initially intrigued by her nonetheless.  However, as it becomes more and more obvious what a shallow person she really is, he loses interest fairly quickly.  Jordan, however, doesn't take kindly to Nick's breaking things off with her, not because of any interest in Nick, not because she actually cares about him ("I don't give damn about you now" makes it pretty clear that she doesn't), but because she is used to getting her way, calling the shots so to speak, the fact that someone else assumed control of the relationship by ending it caught her by surprise.  Thus, the meaning of the word "dizzy" as used above can be construed to mean that she was, in today's slang, "thrown for a loop", or subjected to an experience that is startling, unsettling, and takes some effort from which to recover. 

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