Homework Help

What is ironic about Nick's approval of Jordan in The Great Gatsby?

user profile pic

busylizzy15 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted September 27, 2013 at 3:05 AM via web

dislike 2 like

What is ironic about Nick's approval of Jordan in The Great Gatsby?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:40 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

It seems ironic, or not in keeping with what is expected, that Nick declares himself "one of the few honest people I have ever known," a declaration which evinces his supposed high regard for honesty, yet he finds Jordan's being "incurably dishonest" charming.

Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply – I was casually sorry, and then I forgot....

This double-talk of Nick's is not unique to him, as the other characters find hypocrisy and deception to be essential components of relationships. Further, another irony to the relationship of Jordan Baker and Nick Carraway is Jordan's accusation to Nick that he is a "bad driver." She mentions this to Nick prior to his departure from the East Coast as he visits her and "talked over and around what had happened to us together." Jordan explains to him that his breaking up with her made her feel "a little dizzy" because it was a new experience for her. Then she reminds Nick of an earlier conversation they have had.

"You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I?....I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride."

Although dishonest, Jordan Baker exposes Nick's hypocrisy, as well, in a final irony.  Not the perfect moral compass, Nick has fallen into dishonesty himself.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes