The Great Gatsby

The Rotten Driver: Jordan Baker as Gatsby's Sole Hero College

Jordan Baker is perhaps the most forgettable of The Great Gatsby’s core cast of characters. Even the novel’s narrator, Nick Carraway himself, admits to having “lost sight of Jordan Baker” altogether for at least a few weeks of the narrative, encouraging readers and critics alike to regard her character as more or less dispensable (Fitzgerald 57). For critics, as Veronica Makowskey notes, Jordan is generally little more than a plot device—a handy method by which Fitzgerald unveils the history between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan (28). For readers, Jordan may fulfill any of a number of roles, nearly all negligible. It is easy to write Jordan off as Daisy’s sidekick or Nick’s plus one. Indeed, more often than not, Jordan does appear to be simply thrown into scenes in the very same way that Daisy promises to “fling” her together with Nick. Fitzgerald drops Jordan into parties and cars with Nick in the same way Daisy plans to lock them up in linen closets and push them out to sea in a boat (Fitzgerald 18).

Often seen lying on the same couch and wearing the same color clothing as her friend, Jordan is easily read—sometimes by Nick—as Daisy-adjacent, a mere extension of the novel’s iconic heroine. In a similar way, film versions work...

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