- Term Papers and Free Essays

Great Gatsby Character Analysis

Essay by   •  December 23, 2010  •  959 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,881 Views

Essay Preview: Great Gatsby Character Analysis

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Out of the five main characters in the Great Gatsby, I disliked Tom Buchanan the most (however his wife Daisy was a close second). He seemed extremely self-absorbed. I don't believe that he and I would choose the same values that we would consider important in guiding our lives.

One of Tom's important values is wealth. He was very rich and thought that it made him superior to other people. He enjoys showing off his possessions, " I've got a nice place here. It belonged to the Demaine oil man" (Great Gatsby, 12). In this case, Tom is showing Nick his house and obviously thinks that because it belonged to the Demaine oil man that it makes it a little more important. Tom thinks that poor people are inferior to him and he is quite the snob. He is from old money and often refers to the newly rich as " bootleggers", people who distributed alcohol during prohibition. Tom doesn't think much of Gatsby, and claims that he pegged him as a bootlegger the moment he saw him. When Daisy tells Tom that she is leaving him for Gatsby he says, " She's not leaving me! Certainly not for a common swindler who'd have to steal the ring to put on her finger!" ( 140). Later, Tom even sends Daisy home with Gatsby , adding that his presumptuous flirtation was over.

Power and control over people is something that Tom considers important in guiding his life. Throughout the novel he has shown, time and time again that he is the type of person who likes to control others and what they do. Sometimes he is nothing more than a bully and other times he is just cruel. He often talks to George Wilson, his mistress' husband about selling him his car, which he never actually intends to do. He is simply toying with the man, but becomes angry when Wilson tries to talk to him about it: " Very well then , I won't sell you the car at all... I'm under no obligations to you at all...And as for your bothering me about it at lunch time I won't stand for that at all!" (122). Tom was being extremely cruel at that moment because Wilson needed the money that would come from the car and Tom didn't care. There are times when Tom loses his temper when people don't obey him. When Myrtle Wilson started shouting Daisy's name ( she said that she could say it whenever she wanted to), Tom broke her nose. Later in the novel Tom couldn't stand it when he realizes that his wife and mistress were " slipping precipitately from his control". He confronts Gatsby in the hotel and says, " I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that's the idea then you can count me out" (137). Tom couldn't stand not having control so he made a scene. After ridding Daisy of whatever courage she had, he ordered her to go home. That was how he handled the situation.

Tom also values aesthetics, which means he is " tasteful, or sensitive to beauty". That is not to say that his actions are very tasteful, but that he acts like man of high class and good taste. He buys extravagant things such as a bunch of polo ponies or a $350, 000 string of pearls for Daisy. He is concerned with what he sees as the loss of his own high status and is the perfect



Download as:   txt (5.1 Kb)   pdf (77.7 Kb)   docx (10.6 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on