Why Does Nick Change His Feelings Toward Jordan

In chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby, why does Nick change his feelings toward Jordan? What were his feelings before?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nick says in chapter three that he feels a sort of "tender curiosity" about Jordan Baker. He can see that her "bored, haughty face" is hiding something, and then he remembers the scandal from a while back that she had cheated in a golf tournament. However, he says that "Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply," and he gets over it pretty quickly. His physical attraction to Jordan and her "hard, jaunty body" seems to trump any ethical concerns he might otherwise have felt about starting something up with her.

Later, in chapter four, Nick describes her as "a clean, hard, limited person," and, in the same breath, refers to her "golden shoulder," implying an untouchability or value that he longs to possess. Then, in chapter seven, he calls her a "silver idol," like Daisy, again implying her desirability as well as her hardness and coldness.

After Daisy and Tom's fight, however, Nick realizes that he is thirty today, and he describes Jordan beside him, "who, unlike Daisy, was too wise ever to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age." He describes her "wan face" and how "lazily" she lays it on his shoulder. And while the pressure of her hand on his was "reassuring," he still feels that they are speeding "toward death." In this moment, Jordan seems to have lost her luster. He has realized that she is "wiser" than Daisy, but her "wisdom" actually renders her more jaded, more pessimistic, and her total lack of innocence or hope is not very attractive to him now that he has become aware of it. Further, to describe her face as "wan" and her manner as "lazy" are far from compliments. The fact that Nick has little interaction with her after this is a good indicator that he begins to see her in a different light on this night.

luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nick's feelings about Jordon before chapter 7 of The Great Gatsby tended toward a sort of amused curiosity laced with affection.  After all the events that took place in the previous two chapters in particular, Nick is no longer amused by the spoiled, self-centered crowd Jordan is a part of.  He is now disgusted with these people, Jordan included, because he sees them for the shallow, self-absorbed, immoral people that they are.

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The Great Gatsby

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