F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby Jordan Baker, Lesbian}

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby – Jordan Baker, Lesbian



While Nick Carraway is the only narrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jordan Baker -a secondary character- is an ocular witness and agent in the turbulent history of the Buchanan’s. Jordan is not only Nick’s main source of what happened back in Louisville, but also an agent provocateur in the lethal drama that involves Tom, Daisy, Myrtle, and Gatsby.

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In chapter 1, when Nick visits his cousin Daisy Buchanan, he immediately perceives Jordan:”The younger of the two was a stranger to me. She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless and her chin raised a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall.”As Nick focuses on her, he admits, “I enjoyed looking at her,” and immediately describes her:’She was a slender, small breasted girl with an erect carriage which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet.’A wisp of a recollection crosses Nick’s mind, which at the end of the chapter becomes clear that Jordan Baker was a famous -but maliciously talked about- golf player. Later on Nick tells us that she had been involved in a golfing scandal, and eliminated from a golf tournament because of cheating. In the end, Nick admits that she was “incurably dishonest.”At a party as Gatsby’s Nick comments:”I noticed that she wore her evening dress, all her dresses, like sports clothes-there was a jauntiness about her movements as if she had first learned to walk upon golf courses on clean, crisp mornings.”By now Nick is shaping up Jordan Baker’s profile not as that of a flapper, nor that of a coy and delicate woman, or a flirt-but that of a lesbian. Given that in the early 20th century allusions to sexual orientation were taboo, Nick could not be expected to insinuate such a thing, much less to say it. And incidentally, it wasn’t until Truman Capote published Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1958 that a novel openly used the “L” word or others even worse: “Incidentally, she [Holly Golightly] said, “do you happen to know any nice lesbians?” “Of course people couldn’t help but think I must be a bit of a dyke myself.”However, the implications that Jordan is indeed a lesbian are all there.Take the imagery: “erect carriage,” and “cadet.” Who can deny the tomboy description? In those years a young cadet could only be a male soldier apprentice. Jordan is male-like. A tomboy. And that ‘jauntiness about her movements,” can only signify that she’s unfeminine.Yet Nick and Jordan become involved. This is difficult and sterile relationship which surely leads to a dead end. Nick -as I’ve commented elsewhere- is bisexual. And if Nick is bisexual and Jordan is a lesbian, all else in their relationship cannot be taken seriously, despite the fact that Jordan intimates they had a relationship. At the end in their partings -which were no sweet sorrows- she accuses Nick of “throwing her over.”Jordan fits in the group, as she advances Fitzgerald’s theme of the decline of morality and the corruption of the American Dream. Besides being dishonest she’s careless and selfish. Not only does she drive in a reckless manner, but she expects others to get out of her way. No wonder she befriends the Buchanan’s.”They’re a rotten crowd,” says Nick, and they were. Tom, Gatsby, Daisy, and Jordan were all Westerners-not New Yorkers.

Retired. Former investment banker, Columbia University-educated, Vietnam Vet (67-68).

The only writing textbook I consult is Mary Duffy’s e-book: Sentence Openers.This book will fire up your writing. Check it out! To read my book reviews of the Classics visit my blog: Writing To Live

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby – Jordan Baker, Lesbian}