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What was Nick's relationship with Jordan in "The Great Gatsby"?

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pollin08 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 5, 2008 at 2:06 PM via web

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What was Nick's relationship with Jordan in "The Great Gatsby"?

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sagesource | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 5, 2008 at 4:18 PM (Answer #1)

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Nick is going out with Jordan for most of the novel, but he always feels that she is not trustworthy and he breaks up with her after he finds how indifferent she is to tragedy.

Jordan and Nick meet in the first chapter. Although attracted to her, Nick has a relationship to end before he can become involved with her, which contrasts his ethics and her dishonesty. Ironically, Nick finds Jordan's openness about her character attractive, as when he criticizes her driving:

“I am careful."

“No, you’re not.”

“Well, other people are....They’ll keep out of my way,” she insisted. “It takes two to make an accident.”

“Suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself.”

“I hope I never will,” she answered. “I hate careless people. That’s why I like you.” (Ch. 3)

It is after this conversation that Nick first finds himself feeling truly in love with Jordan.

The relationship ends after the death of Myrtle Wilson, Tom's mistress, run down by Daisy. Tom, Nick, and Jordan reach the accident scene soon after. Nick is hit hard by the death, but Jordan takes it casually:

“Won’t you come in, Nick?”

“No, thanks.”

I was feeling a little sick and I wanted to be alone. But Jordan lingered for a moment more.

“It’s only half-past nine,” she said. (Ch. 7)

Soon after, Nick realizes that he can no longer tolerate Jordan’s callousness and indifference:

“I’m thirty,” I said. “I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor.” (Ch. 9)

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