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Gatsby and Tom Case

Autor:   •  April 30, 2014  •  Essay  •  596 Words (3 Pages)  •  958 Views

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel, The Great Gatsby, we take a look into the lives of the east side's wealthy and sophisticated in the roaring twenties. The main character being Jay Gatsby, of course, comes with what one would call a rival, or in literary talk an antagonist. In this case the antagonist is the character who holds the heart of Gatsby's true love and only desire: Gatsby's rival is Tom Buchanan. Despite their similarities they are truly different.

Unlike Tom, Gatsby comes off to most people as a kind, giving person. Gatsby also keeps opinions to himself and tries to keep away from confrontation. A woman from the story talked about Gatsby and said, "There's something funny about a fellow that'll do a thing like that, he doesn't want trouble with anybody" (Fitzgerald 48). Personality wise, Tom definitely comes off as an arrogant and cocky man who bases a lot of his opinions on racism and sexism. In his own words, Tom once states "The idea is if we don't look out, the white race will be utterly submerged", (17) proving his racism.

Even though both Gatsby and Tom have money and live a luxurious lifestyle, not both of them started out that way. Tom was born into wealth, while Gatsby on the other hand was born into an impoverished childhood. Gatsby's only reason he longs for sophistication and wealth was to get Daisy. Tom's reasoning was more for class standings and a sense of power over others. Although money seemed to be important to both of them, Gatsby's seemed more earned than Tom's.

Morally, Tom seems to venture off from the expected standards of most society, with his racist ways and showing absolutely no care for others thoughts, opinions, or lives. Tom comes off way more self-centered and proud than Gatsby.

Tom and Gatsby have contrasting views on the past. Tom is stuck in his past, whereas Gatsby wants to forget his and focus


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