During the Roaring Twenties, the role of women in society took on new forms and pushed unprecedented boundaries. Women were more independent as well as promiscuous. Jordan Baker’s maleness in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby depicts the changing woman in the 1920’s. Fitzgerald blends the strong individualistic woman of the twenties with her feminine counterpart through his character, Jordan Baker. Jordan, an unmarried professional golf player, is assertively independent and seems rather masculine in contrast to Daisy Buchanan, her “girlie,” character foil. As the novel continues, Jordan’s “maleness” fuses with the conventional womanly characteristics of her time.
The first time Nick meets Jordan, she sits “completely motionless with her chin raised a little.” (p.8) She is not at all fazed by Nick’s presence. She remains solely interested in golf and does not participate in the other conversations around her. The male-like behavior in this scene contrasts with Daisy’s lively, energetic, and stereotypically feminine manner. Nick notes, “Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her.” This seductive feminine quality contrasts to Jordan’s more masculine refrain, when Nick observes that Tom and Jordan have several feet of twilight between them. The first references to Jordan in this chapter juxtapose Daisy’s feminine etiquette with Jordan’s masculinity that continues throughout the novel.
Later in this chapter, Nick describes Jordan as “A slender small breasted girl, with an erect carriage, which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet.” This manly physical description highlights Jordan’s confidence and independence. She is not dependent upon the will of another. Later, Daisy “turned to Miss Baker for confirmation” (14). Daisy needs a male figure to validate her while Jordan makes her own decisions. Daisy later reads to Tom from The Saturday Evening Post. This gender role reversal again highlights Jordan’s...
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