What's Jordan's value in Gatsby's party? (chapter 3)Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Chapter 3 of The Great Gasby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jordan Baker emerges from the party, standing at the top of the marble steps,

leaning a little backward and looking with comptuous interest down into the garden.

Jordan Baker is the prototype of the 1920s flapper.  There is an aura of amorality that surrounds this detached person whose world is only her own self-absorption. Jordan Baker acts as the standard for the jaded and dissipated guests at the party of Jay Gatsby.  She also represents East Egg condescending haughtily to West Egg.  

As Nick spots Jordan, she speaks loudly to him, then is addressed by twins in yellow dresses.  Nick and Jordan saunter through the garden and sit down at a taable with the two girls in yellow and "three men, each one introduced to us as Mr. Mumble." Later, Jordan asks Nick to leave, complaining that the place is "much too polite for me."  And, before they leave, Jordan comments that she likes large parties:  "They're so intimate.  At small parties there isn't any privacy."

By her attitude and actions, Jordan Baker provides a frame for all the other amoral and superficial guests of the party given by Jay Gatsby.

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