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The Great Double Character Study

By , Oak Park, IL
All of the characters in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are very different. However, two special characters are very similar. These characters are Nick and Jordan. They are very much the same because they both serve the same purpose in the novel. Jordan and Nick are both observers throughout the novel. Their view of their friends and situations makes it easier for the reader to relate to the story because they are both experiencing it in the same way. They are also alike because they are both very different from the rest of the characters, like Tom, Daisy and Gatsby. By contrast Nick and Jordan are very normal compared to the other character and this is shown right from the beginning of the novel. Because of Nick and Jordan’s similarity, Jordan’s character gives the book a feminist twist: she has the same independence that Nick has.

Jordan and Nick are alike because they are both observing the story and are not taking part in the plot as much as other characters. As Gatsby and Tom confront each other “[Nick and Jordan] tried to go, but Tom and Gatsby insisted with competitive firmness that [they] remain…”(130). Nick and Jordan are handling the situation as the reader might. Both the characters and the reader are not tied to what is going on and want to stay out of trouble. Jordan and Nick are acting the same way which makes them have similar personalities. Their actions help the reader identify with the emotions that Nick and Jordan are feeling. Nick and Jordan decided to leave, which implies that Jordan and Nick have made the decision with equal power. Their silent communication shows that they were both thinking the same way. This supports the feminist view because it shows that the female character had as much agency as the male character.

Jordan and Nick are alike because their behavior sets then apart from the other characters. They are not like the other characters and this makes the reader see the extremes of the behaviors of the other characters. “The bar, where we glanced first, was crowded, but Gatsby was not there. She couldn’t find him from top of the steps, and he wasn’t on the veranda”(45). As the party at Gatsby’s goes on, Nick and Jordan are looking for the host. They are not involved in the party around them. They find a very drunk man in the library. This scene sets Nick and Jordan apart from the rest of the guests because they are relatively sober and seem to be the only ones interested in finding Gatsby. The reader can now compare the behavior of Nick and Jordan to the behavior of the other characters, making the new ideals of the twenties easier to see. Jordan and Nick are on the same level because Jordan has risen up out of the 20’s standards for women and reached the standards for men. She plays sports and is not dependent on a man to get by.

Another reason why Jordan and Nick are alike is that they are both people who are both on the outside of the social scene and somewhat lonely. “It was dark now, and as we dipped under a little bridge I put my arm around Jordan’s golden shoulder and drew her toward me and asked her to dinner”(79). Jordan and Nick are finding themselves drawn to each other because they are both parts of Gatsby’s elaborate plan to rekindle his relationship with Daisy. They are both realizing that they are performing similar roles in the social world around them which created a moment for them to bond.

In The Great Gatsby, there are many characters that are similar, however Nick and Jordan stand out the most. They are very similar because they are both independent from the other characters. They are both outside the center of the story because they are different from everyone else. They are also alike because they help the reader see how outrageous the other characters are. The character of Jordan broke from stereotypes of women in the twenties. She is bold and independent. “Suddenly I wasn’t thinking of Daisy and Gatsby any more, but of this clean, hard, limited person, who dealt in universal skepticism…” (79). Jordan and Nick are both two of a kind in this strange world of theirs.





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