Character Analysis of Tom Buchanan in the Great Gatsby
Tom Buchanan is one of the many colourful, intriguing and enigmatic characters of the masterpiece “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is the antagonist of the novel and rightly so. He is racist, a hypocrite, an immoral cheater, a short-tempered brute and misogynistic. Tom is also part of an old and out dated sort of world that is being swamped all-round the edges by a new and better society. That is the reason why he is acting so tough and also why he hates Jay Gatsby so much, it is because he is afraid, afraid that the world that he knows and all the old-fashioned values of love, wealth and masculinity will come crashing down on him. He dislikes Gatsby because he is part of the new generation and he got rich by a different way
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This group of new people are now stepping in and slowly taking over more and more of the old group’s respect, status and power. Many of the old group including Tom despised these people and they always tried to keep a distance between them. Tom is now a symbol of the “Old Money” and their out dated ideas of wealth and his conflict with Gatsby also illustrates the same conflict that existed between the two social groups of the 1920s.
Tom is a big bull of a man. He is strong, athletic, bulky, big, tall and well-built, having played football in college, “…had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football in New Haven.” All these words seem to indicate that Tom is a very manly and macho type of man but Fitzgerald seems to indicate differently, for example Tom never went to war like Nick or Gatsby, He beats up women which indicates that he is a coward and he is insensitive. Tom is also a big bully who bullies all those around him; he uses his size, wealth and social status to force others to do what he wants. He intimidates the timid Wilson to enter an unfair business deal with him, he also threatens Daisy and treats her harshly in order to shift the blame of Myrtle’s death to Gatsby and to escape after. Tom hated Gatsby the minute he saw him, but he likes Nick because he is quiet and usually stays out of his way. Tom is selfish and hypocritical he will use whatever means he can to get whatever he wants, he does not