Tom Buchanan a Character in the Great Gatsby. A Literary Essay Example.

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Boston College
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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was set in America during the period of the 1920's; the novel is identified to be a great symbolic reflection in America more so in the fall of American dream during the era of serious materialism and wealth. For most Americans, the novel demonstrates that the dream focused solely on achieving the greater standard of living. Gatsby is recognized as one of the America who lived the rest of his life in pursuing power and wealth. In The Great Gatsbys Tom Buchanan is one of the intriguing, many colorful and enigmatic characters of the masterpiece. Additionally, Tom Buchanan as a character in the Great Gatsbys is identified as hyper-masculine, hulking and super-rich aggressive. In the novel, Tom Buchanan is the antagonist being recognized as a hypocrite, racist, short-tempered brute and immoral cheater (Sutton). Since Tom falls under the category of outdated and old sort of world that is being swamped all around time with a better and a new society. This makes him act so toughly making him hate Jay Gatsby because he is afraid that all fashioned values of masculinity, wealth, and love will come to an end. Analyzing Tom Buchanan as one of the major characters in the Great Gatsby, the two major traits that define Tom Buchanan in the whole novel is hypocrisy and materialism. In developing the American dream during the era of materialism and wealth, through Tom, we end up discovering that he is a morally bankrupt and despicable character.

Among all the characters in the Great Gatsby, Tom Buchan is one character that shows a strong connection with materialism. The character is identified to be an example of old money and as a result of being affluent; he takes advantage of breaking all the rules to achieve whatever pleases him. One major example is cheating on the wife. Having Daisy as her wife, Tom still managed to satisfy his selfish desires by getting some woman in New York. Additionally, in Toms situation, he is identified to have let materialism in his head, he is living with the assumption and a great belief that just because he possesses so much wealth, Tom was in a position of buying happiness with anything that he pleases.

On the other hand, demonstrating the theme of old money where the most American dream is identified by materialism and wealth, materialism made Buchanan suffer superiority complex, through being identified as individual with massive wealth and high social class position, sexism and racism were part of his lifestyle. This also gave him the opportunity to menace both his mistress and even wife physically.

Focusing on the second character traits, Buchanan is portrayed to be a very hypocritical man especially when it comes to love since he was living with the fear that Daisy will fall for Gatsby and start an affair, he tried his level best not to let Daisy near Gatsby. This disturbed and the only way that he could have felt better was to be allowed to go out and get indulged in extramarital affairs. Contrary to what he is doing, high level of hypocrisy is identified when he is the only one allowed to have extramarital affairs while the wife is forbidden to engage herself in such activities. Notably, Toms thinking on love was perceived to be normal at the same time his actions were imitated by his associates, but such view of love is unfair, sexist and very false. This is one of the primary reasons as to why Toms old world is not supposed to be with him or even part of his lifestyle.

With the belief that Tom has on his wealth, stating that his wealth is everything and this would be true for any individual who is living in that world at that time. Tom is useless without a significant amount of wealth he is possessing. He would not maintain high socio status that he was enjoying; he would never have a beautiful wife like Daisy. Additionally, Tom would never toil for his wealth, and this never happened. Instead, he was given birth to by a very wealthy but old family which he later inherited their resources after his parents passing away. Through Nick, he demonstrated that his families were seriously wealthy this was the proper way to elite, wealthy class individuals to achieve wealth during the 1920s (Sutton)

Tom as a character is identified as a racist living with the belief that white race is more superior to other races. He is convinced that he is above and even beyond any other rule. Additionally, high level of unfaithfulness is portrayed by Tom as he has cheated on Daisy even during the honeymoon. In Fitzgeralds the American dream that leads to an individual achieving high level of material and wealth with an individual from East and west egg using each other to gain and to assume the concern on the impact that their actions will have on others who around them.


Work cited

Sutton, Brian. "Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby." The Explicator58.2 (2000): 103-106.


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