In The Great Gatsby, what does Jordan tell Nick when they see each other after Gatsby's death?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Gatsby's death Nick decides to return to the Midwest; however, before he departs he goes to Jordan Baker's house in order to end their relationship. 

After arriving at Jordan's house, Nick talks "over and around what has happened" to their relationship, but Jordan remains perfectly still in her chair as he talks. In her usual disconnected manner, Jordan, who is dressed to play golf, replies "without comment" on Nick's words, saying that she is engaged to another man. While there are several that Jordan could probably marry, Nick doubts the sincerity of her response:

"Nevertheless you did throw me over on the telephone. I don't give a damn about you now but it was a new experience for me and I felt a little dizzy for a while." 

Further, Jordan reminds Nick of a conversation that they once had about bad drivers, a metaphor she uses for those who deceive and are careless in actions. She has said that it is all right to be a "bad driver" as long as the other party is careful. But, now she informs Nick that he, too, is a bad driver:

"I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride."

Nick responds to her accusation that he is thirty now and too old to lie to himself. "Angry and half in love with her and tremendously sorry," Nick departs.

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Nine, after Gatsby's death, Nick has a final conversation with Jordan, which has a number of important points. First of all, Jordan is angry with Nick because he is the first man who has ever broken up with her. For Jordan, this is so unexpected that it makes her a "little dizzy" for some time after.

Secondly, Jordan accuses Nick of being dishonest. To do this, she uses a driving metaphor:

You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn’t I?

Remember that back in Chapter Three, Jordan said it is okay to be a bad driver—as long you don't encounter another bad driver on the road. If this happens, an accident is sure to follow. By using this metaphor, Jordan is not only comparing their relationship to a car accident but also accusing Nick of not being the man he professed to be. In fact, she thinks that he is just as dishonest and self-centered as she is.

In response, Nick neither apologizes to her nor tries to explain himself. Instead, he walks away feeling "tremendously sorry," which suggests that Jordan's assessment of his character has some truth to it.

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The Great Gatsby

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