The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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In The Great Gatsby, how was Jordan Baker cynical and self-centered?  

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Jordan Baker is very cynical and self-centered.  Nick initially describes her, like Daisy, as having "impersonal eyes," that don't seem to ever be very pleased with anything.  Later, he says that she has a "contemptuous expression" that had looked out at him from several newspapers as a result of her golf celebrity.  To be both impersonal and contemptuous implies that she looks down on everything and everyone around her, that she believes herself to be better than it and they, and so she keeps the world at somewhat of a distance because it isn't worth her getting to know it. 

After the confrontation between Tom and Gatsby, Nick says of Jordan that, unlike Daisy, she "was too wise to ever carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age."  One of the few likable things about Daisy is the way she behaves with Gatsby prior to this confrontation, as though she believed for a time that it was possible to go back to the way they were.  Jordan, however, is far too cynical to every think such a thing is possible, and so she lacks even this small bit of idealism and romanticism that makes Daisy seem more relatable (for a while). 

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