Please compare and contrast Jordan Baker (Nick's girlfriend) to Nick Carraway in "The Great Gatsby".If you could focus more towards the beginning of the novel and use quotes that would help a lot....

Please compare and contrast Jordan Baker (Nick's girlfriend) to Nick Carraway in "The Great Gatsby".

If you could focus more towards the beginning of the novel and use quotes that would help a lot. Also, while comparing and contrasting how do these charachters relate (besides the fact that they are dating!). Meaning, are they foils, similar, opposites?

Asked on by lizfrank

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Nick tells the reader, from the very beginning, that he remembers words his father told him reminding him that he's had privileges others haven't had in life and therefore, Nick tends to not be judgmental.  This lack of judgment combined with being a good listener make him endearing to people and these qualities tend to make others open up to him.  Jordon, on the other hand, when we first meet her in the first chapter, is shown to be little more than a beautiful, spoiled ornament. 

She is reclining on the sofa in the Buchanan's home, completely motionless, and has her chin raised slightly.  She shows no notice of Nick when he enters the room. She is more like an object than a person.  She remains that way through most of the novel - she is shallow and ornamental. 

Later, in chapter 3, when Nick tells her she's an awful driver, her response is to say that she doesn't care; other drivers can look out for her.  She goes on to say that she doesn't like careless people which is why she likes Nick. Of course, there is much irony in those words because she is as careless as they come.  There is even rumor that she may have cheated at golf - her profession. 

 Jordan is like Daisy and Tom; a careless person who goes through her life using people to her advantage and then moving on.  She likes Nick because he pays attention to her.  Since she is used to selfish people like herself, she likes someone who is not self-centered.  She likes seeing Nick's sense of responsibility because she lacks it entirely in herself. 

Nick works for a living; Jordan participates in a recreational activity.  Nick has been to war; Jordan has been to golf matches.  Nick is appalled that Tom is cheating on Daisy and more still, that Daisy knows it and does nothing about it.  Jordan just sees this as excitement in her life.  When the two break up and meet up later in the last chapter, Jordan tells him that being dumped by someone was a new experience for her.  She says it made her "dizzy".  She brings up the conversation they had about bad drivers and carelessness.  She claims that he was the one who was careless and dishonest. 

 In reality, Nick was only dishonest in that he spent as much time with Jordan as he did.  He knew from their first meeting what kind of girl she was and that their relationship could not last.  He used her for excitement just as she used him for a different experience.  That's the only way though that Nick and Jordan are alike.

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