The Great Gatsby Jordan Baker Analysis

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The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published during the 1920s, a time of great social transformation that served a reaction to the horrors faced in World War One. During this time period, women were experiencing many positive, progressive changes such as gaining the right to vote. Women had also been allowed to have jobs outside of their traditional roles during the war, many taking on factory jobs that were seen as masculine and unfit for women. This new independence led to the rise of flappers, portrayed in The Great Gatsby by the character of Jordan Baker. Flappers were characterized during this time period as letting go of stigmas and restrictions previously placed on women. Jordan Baker possesses a strong will for independence and confidence that defines her as a flapper. Many critics say that Jordan Baker is an unimportant character. However, her actions and Nick’s descriptions of her show that Jordan…show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald was influenced by the media-centric world around him as inspiration for the name of Jordan Baker. A source of inspiration for Jordan Baker’s name came from two advertisements for popular cars, The Jordan and The Baker. This car was described as “A sporty car with a romantic image” (cite). The Baker, however, evoked an “electric car, a lady’s car-in fact, an old lady’s car” (cite). Both of these cars were in ads circulated in papers that F. Scott Fitzgerald either wrote for or read, including the Saturday Evening Post(cite). These two cars juxtaposed show the contrasting nature of Jordan Baker herself. The Baker, a new and exciting sports car, represents a masculine world, and a masculine version of Jordan. The Jordan, however, comes across as a cushiony and safe vehicle. This tame and gentle car serves as a metaphor for the expected behavior of the women during this time period. Jordan Baker is made up, however, of both cars–she doesn’t fit into one specific
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