Jordan Baker is the only woman, other than Jordan’s friend Daisy, who has a major role in The Great Gatsby. Jordan lives her life carelessly and freely, never allowing herself to be tied down by love or domesticity. Jordan is beautiful both inside and out; she is so stunning that many men find themselves attracted to her. Jordan has a very strong personality, perhaps too strong for some as Tom even comments on Jordan’s “lack of charm” (17). Jordan is not interested in worldly things such as materialism or status; instead Jordan draws her self-worth from the fact that she can shoot and play golf like a man.
Jordan makes it very clear throughout The Great Gatsby that she has no intention of ever marrying and settling down. Jordan lives her life to please herself and nobody else; Jordan does not feel any obligation to behave by the societal standards of the 1920s, nor does Jordan believe she should define herself based on traditional gender roles. In essence, Jordan represents everything women were striving for during the time period Fitzgerald was writing: independence among other things.
Jordan does not allow herself to be defined by a man nor by society. Jordan represents everything good about the Jazz Age, the freedom and possibilities that were available for women at this time period. Jordan is often viewed as being shameless due to her lifestyle choices; Jordan’s cousin Charlie Mayne even calls Jordan callous (39). Jordan feels no guilt living her life the way she desires. Jordan has “friends in every port” (16) much like sailors who are constantly on long voyages away from home.
Jordan enjoys her independence and believes that she should live how she wants without compromise. Jordan believes that she should never have to apologize for anything because it is nobody else’s business what goes on in her life or with whom Jordan spends her time. Jordan tells Nick Carraway at one point, “I know too many people… Jordan is an absolutely fictitious character” (42). Jordan warns Nick that he cannot believe anything Jordan says because Jordan herself does not even know who she is.
Jordan has no concern for the opinions of others, whether positive or negative; Jordan simply lives her life to please herself. Jordan’s lifestyle leads many readers to wonder if Jordan is bisexual. Fitzgerald was very open about his bisexuality and often wrote about homosexual relationships in his novels, yet there are no specific references to Jordan being attracted to women or men throughout The Great Gatsby. Some readers assume however that since Jordan never marries nor seems interested in marrying anyone, she must therefore be romantically involved with other women.
Jordan’s nature is such that she does not feel the need to share her past with anyone, so Jordan gives no definitive answer as to whether or not Jordan has ever been romantically involved with another woman. Jordan’s sexuality remains a mystery because Jordan simply does not care what anyone thinks about her and therefore will never answer questions about it; Jordan says “I shall always be one of the crowd” (17). It must also be noted however that Jordan never refers to herself as being bisexual; Jordan simply states that she has “friends in every port.
Jordan, speaking of the Jordan River that she swims in, says “You know – where it flows into Lake Superior. ” Jordan Baker is also shown as having a deceptive personality. This side of Jordan Baker is displayed when Nick asks for her opinion on Tom Buchanan and Daisy Buchanan’s relationship. Jordan does not tell Nick what she thinks about the relationship but instead provides him with ambiguous statements such as: “They’re swell people,” and “Everybody knows them. As well as Jordan’s arrogant and deceptive personality, Jordan’s character was also written to have similar characteristics to many women in modern-day society.
The first example of this comparison would be Jordan Baker’s empathy towards Myrtle Wilson throughout the story. The reader can see that despite Myrtle being an extremely careless and disrespectful person Jordan Baker is sympathetic towards her. Jordan feels bad for Myrtle when she finds out about Tom Buchanan’s infidelity with Miss Gatsby, knowing that this would break Myrtle’s heart.
Another similarity Jordan has to many modern-day women is Jordan Baker’s appeal to wanting material goods. The reader can see Jordan’s interest in material goods through some of the clothing Jordan had worn throughout the story; an example of this would be Jordan wearing a “perforated gold bag. ” Jordan also displays similar characteristics with many modern-day women by her independence throughout the story. Jordan was not financially stable during the time, but she did have what she needed at least. Jordan is portrayed as being financially independent when Jordan and Nick first meet.
Jordan says: “I’ve got a little money,” Jordan was also financially independent because Jordan had enough money to buy herself new clothes when she runs out of all her old ones. Jordan Baker is an extremely complicated character in The Great Gatsby, which can be seen through the many contradictions within Jordan’s personality. Jordan Baker is both an honest and dishonest person, Jordan is both caring and cold hearted, and Jordan has similar characteristics with women who live in modern-day society as well as being different from most modern-day women.
Jordan Baker appeals to the senses, especially for Nick. Jordan is described very vividly by Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby as having a “thin face” and “golden voice,” with her beautiful blonde hair swept up on top of her head (5). Jordan’s looks appeal to both men and women, but even more so to Nick.
Jordan’s beauty does not distract or take away from her personality; Jordan is actually a very scheming character in the novel who has ulterior motives and tries to break up Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s marriage. Jordan is not really what she seems, though she appears sweet and innocent at first glance:
He wondered if he had been wrong about her. He did not want to leave Daisy believing that. Yet it was probably better for her to think he was a little bad, not quite as good as she had thought. Otherwise their affair would seem attended by meaningless disaster—the kind of romantic adventure that belonged in fiction rather than in real life. (Chapter 4)
Jordan is dangerous and lethal, much like the gun she carries with her everywhere. Jordan’s weapon does not discriminate; Jordan uses it to end lives just as easily as she does friendships (or lack thereof). Jordan has wielded her revolver into several different relationships throughout the novel; Jordan shot at Tom Buchanan, then again at Myrtle Wilson, which led to Myrtle’s death.