Why is Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby considered a strong woman in literature?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jordan Baker is considered a strong woman in part because she earns her living independently as a professional golf player. This type of independence was rare in the 1920s. Jordan looks very much like an athlete, and is described as having a "slender golden arm" (48). She spends most of her time outside playing golf, and she doesn't have the soft or pampered look of women who aren't as physical. Nick describes her as having a "bored haughty face," and he realizes that, much like a stereotypical male, she is not above lying to get what she wants (63). She lies about leaving the top of a borrowed car open in the rain, and Nick then remembers he heard a rumor that she moved a ball during a golf tournament. Unlike most women in literature, Jordan is portrayed as emotionally hard and unsentimental, and it's clear she does not need a man around to be happy. Many women in literature are identified by their romantic or maternal connections to others, but not Jordan. In this sense, she is stronger than many other female literary figures. 

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The Great Gatsby

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