What does Nick discover about Jordan Baker's character? How does he feel about her?Chapter 3

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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At this point in the work, Nick begins to discover more about Jordan, her disposition, and her emotional state.  Nick begins to understand more about Jordan and how she possess a dispassionate and dismissive emotional temperament.  It represents an early time in the work where Nick begins to recognize the phoniness and inauthenticity of the social setting that immerses all of the primary characters.  Notice the way Nick describes how Jordan touches his hand:  "She touched my hand impersonally, as a promise she'd take care of me in a minute."  It is interesting to sense such a hint about Jordan through Nick as an almost emotional foreshadowing of what is to come.  As she holds his hand, Jordan carries on an entire conversation about the golf tournament and dyed hair color, while keeping Nick waiting.  This is rather powerful given how she will appear later in the novel.  As they gossip about Gatsby and "how he killed a man," the reader perceives what Nick understands later on:  Jordan is a gossip, a part of the flapper culture whose primary motivation is the next party, the next item of salacious news, and whose state of being is predicated upon using individuals as means to ends and not ends in of themselves.  Throughout the party interaction, Fitzgerald shows Jordan to be a social butterfly, who is incapabale or unwilling to display any real emotions or valid sense of character.

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