The Great Gatsby-Compare/Contrast Gatsby and Tom and Explain Why Daisy Stayed with Tom

1550 words 7 pages
Name: Sherin Khawaja
Class and Section: 11SD

Q: Compare and contrast Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. How are they similar and how do they differ? Given that Tom is portrayed negatively, why does Daisy choose to remain with him instead of leaving him for Gatsby?
In the novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, two men, Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, fight over Daisy, an upper-class woman from an old, wealthy family in the time after the first world war during the age known as the ‘booming’ or ‘roaring’ twenties. In this time period the war has just finished and the people are living in a time of prosperity and celebration. The novel takes place in New York City where the ‘old rich’ and ‘new rich’ live in two separate
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Tom also displays similar characteristics when faced with a loss of control when he realizes that his wife, Daisy, is having an affair with Gatsby. He speaks to Gatsby with an open hostility that up until then was hidden behind a social, civil façade. “‘Self control!’ repeated Tom incredulously. ‘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 you can count me out…Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and the next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.’”(Page 124) This shows that the moment he loses control over his wife, he lets go completely of any social pretenses he had been putting up before and reveals just how prejudiced and racist he is. Not only does he look down on Gatsby due to his class, but also on all black people due to his belief that he is better than everyone else.
Gatsby and Tom also both do whatever they want without thinking of the consequences. In Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy, who is a married woman with a child, he blatantly disregards the fact that if he succeeds in wooing Daisy, he will have ruined a marriage and left a child to deal with an unstable home. Tom also disregards the importance of his own family and has several affairs. It is actually ridiculous that he expects Daisy to remain faithful to him when he wasn’t even faithful to her on their honeymoon.