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Tom Buchanan: The Arrogant Rich Man

Uploaded by harrysirius on Sep 05, 2002

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel about social classes in America in the 1920’s. Nick, the narrator, meets and associates with a group of upper class people: Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, and Jay Gatsby. Nick finds out through Jordan, whom he is dating, that Gatsby had met Daisy in the past and he is still in love with her. Nick invites Daisy and Gatsby both over to tea at his house, where they meet and fall in love. However, Tom does not accept this and he tries to convince Daisy of Gatsby’s involvement in organized crime, causing both Gatsby and especially Daisy to be very upset. Daisy thinks if she drives it will calm her down, but instead it makes everything worse. Daisy accidentally hits Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s mistress, killing her instantly. This trouble leads to the murder of Gatsby. Throughout this novel Fitzgerald shows how the upper classes often take advantage of their money, and there are no consequences for them. The character of Tom Buchanan, a rich American man of the 1920‘s, represents the worst of his class of people.

Tom is shown to be a very materialistic man. The appearance of Tom’s house is very important to him. He has a very expensive house in East Egg, which is the more luxurious of the two Eggs. His house had once belonged to an oilman and has “a sunken Italian garden, a half acre deep, pungent roses, and a snub-nosed motorboat that bumped the tide offshore” (p. 8). When Tom first meets Nick he says “’I’ve got a nice place here’” (p. 7). Tom also believes that his money can get him anything. Daisy married him because of his money. He bought her an expensive pearl necklace. The last time Nick sees him he is standing outside a jewelry store. After they shake hands Nick observes that Tom “went into the jewelry store to buy a pearl necklace-or perhaps only a pair of cuff buttons” (p. 181). Fitzgerald uses Tom’s extreme materialistic manner to help demonstrate his idea of the lowest of the upper class.

According to the stereotype, rich men often have mistresses. Tom has a mistress named Myrtle. Tom and Myrtle’s relationship is mostly out in the open. The first evidence of this relationship is during Nick’s first visit with Daisy. Tom gets a phone call, and Jordan tells Nick “’Tom’s...

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Uploaded by:   harrysirius

Date:   09/05/2002

Category:   The Great Gatsby

Length:   4 pages (968 words)

Views:   5550

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