The Great Gatsby

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Jordan Baker Character Analysis

A friend of Daisy's who becomes Nick's girlfriend. A successful pro golfer, Jordan is beautiful and pleasant, but does not inspire Nick to feel much more than a "tender curiosity" for her. Perhaps this is because Baker is "incurably dishonest" and cheats at golf. Still, there is some suggestion in the novel that she loves Nick, and that he misjudges her.

Jordan Baker Quotes in The Great Gatsby

The The Great Gatsby quotes below are all either spoken by Jordan Baker or refer to Jordan Baker. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scribner edition of The Great Gatsby published in 2004.
Chapter 9 Quotes
That's my Middle West . . . the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark. . . . I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.
Related Characters: Nick Carraway (speaker), Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker
Related Symbols: East and West
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

After Gatsby’s funeral, Nick adopts this broader perspective on the events that have transpired in the novel. He observes that all of the characters were coastal transplants who hoped and failed to pursue an American Dream on the East Coast.

Nick offers, here, an interesting case of re-narrativizing his life: with this added realization of the characters’ common heritage, he can reinterpret the tale as “a story of the West.” Thus their actions and flaws become less characteristic of individual choices and more of the social types they represent. That they “possessed some deficiency” renders the plot of the novel fatalistic and pre-determined based on social constraints, while the “common” oddly binds together these Westerners even as the novel’s plot has tended to highlight their differences.

The passage also speaks to a sociological shift taking place in the twenties: Whereas before the West was seen as a frontier of opportunity, at this time, a financial boom caused migration patterns to shift back eastward. Yet if the the western American Dream brought one into regions of relatively greater freedom and opportunity, those who moved east were confronting the rigid social systems epitomized by East Egg. Thus Fitzgerald has used these characters as a way to make sense of a broader pattern of movement, in which even those who were seen as wildly successful in the roaring twenties could not conform their identities fully to the nature of the older East Coast.

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Jordan Baker Character Timeline in The Great Gatsby

The timeline below shows where the character Jordan Baker appears in The Great Gatsby. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
At dinner Nick meets Jordan Baker, a young professional golfer, who is beautiful but also seems constantly bored by her... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...learns he has a phone call and leaves the room. Daisy follows quickly behind, and Jordan tells Nick that the call is from Tom's mistress. The rest of dinner is awkward.... (full context)
Chapter 3
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Nick runs into Jordan Baker at the party. While spending time with her, he observes all the amazing luxuries... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Nick and Jordan decide to find their mysterious host, and wander into Gatsby's library. There they meet a... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
Later, as Nick and Jordan sit outside watching the party, Nick strikes up a conversation with the man sitting next... (full context)
Past and Future Theme Icon
At almost two in the morning, a butler approaches Jordan and asks her to come meet with Gatsby. She returns a while later from this... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
...has a brief relationship with a woman from New Jersey, and then begins to date Jordan Baker. Yet though he's attracted to Jordan, he doesn't like her because she's dishonest and... (full context)
Chapter 4
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
After lunch, Nick meets Jordan at the Plaza Hotel. She tells him the "amazing thing" that Gatsby had told her... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
Jordan finishes the story later in Central Park. She says Gatsby never fell out of love... (full context)
Chapter 7
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
...day of the summer, Daisy invites Nick and Gatsby to lunch with her, Tom, and Jordan. At one point, while Tom is out of the room, Daisy kisses Gatsby on the... (full context)
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...yellow car. Gatsby and Daisy travel alone in Tom's coupe, while Tom drives Nick and Jordan. It's clear Tom now knows about the affair between Gatsby and Daisy. Gatsby's car is... (full context)
Past and Future Theme Icon
...the distance, then spots Myrtle Wilson staring down from the windows above the garage at Jordan Baker, whom she seems to have mistaken for Daisy, her rival in love. (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
...Long Island (Gatsby and Daisy took Gatsby's car), Nick observes that unlike Daisy, people like Jordan Baker know better than to hold onto irretrievable dreams. Nick describes the car he rides... (full context)
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
The point of view shifts back to Nick: Tom, Nick, and Jordan arrive at the scene in their car. Both Tom and Wilson are overwhelmed by grief... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Tom, Jordan, and Nick drive to the Buchanan's house. Tom calls a taxi for Nick. As Nick... (full context)
Chapter 8
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
At work that day, Nick falls asleep. The phone wakes him: it's Jordan. Their conversation quickly turns unpleasant and one of them hangs up on the other. Nick... (full context)
Chapter 9
The American Dream Theme Icon
...as a story of the West since many of the key characters (Daisy, Tom, Nick, Jordan, Gatsby) involved were not from the East. He says that after Gatsby's death, the East... (full context)
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Nick goes to Jordan Baker's house to set things straight with her. She tells him she is engaged to... (full context)