Tom Buchanan Character Analysis

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Tom Buchanan V.S Jay Gatsby: Who is more corrupt? In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, we are introduced to two characters pitted against each other in an intense rivalry full of wealth, social status, hatred and love. Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan are two characters that portray subtle differences in their personalities, but share many characteristics that contribute to both of their corrupt nature. Both of these characters, through dishonesty, moral values, and jealousy, are shown to be corrupt. However through further analysis, Tom’s motives, means and the ultimate consequences of his actions allow him to take a more corrupt role than Jay Gatsby in this novel. In The Great Gatsby, Tom is demonstrated as Gatsby’s rival throughout…show more content…
In Chapter 6, the secrets of Jay Gatsby’s past are revealed that include the origins of his wealth and his love for Daisy. Their relationship predates World War I and many promises were made to be together at the end of the war. Unfortunately, Jay learns of Tom and Daisy’s marriage upon his arrival from the war, and has been chasing his love ever since. In order to impress Daisy, Gatsby had saved his wealth just for her. Tom jealousy towards Gatsby stems from Gatsby’s relationship with Daisy. “‘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” (Fitzgerald 137). Tom’s jealousy prompts him to inflict any sort of pain to Gatsby as he is filled with hatred. For example, Tom tells Mr. Wilson about the incident that happens with Myrtle, and that Gatsby was responsible for it. This caused Mr. Wilson to fill with anger, and lead him to kill Jay Gatsby, and commit suicide. From these two situations, we see two contrasting consequences from one similar emotion. Jay Gatsby’s jealousy motivates him to pursue his true love, while Tom’s jealousy leads to the death of multiple characters. In conclusion, it is extremely transparent that Tom is a more corrupt character compared to Jay Gatsby. His dishonesty, jealousy and lack of moral values exemplify his corruptness. In comparison to Gatsby, we see many similar traits and actions between these two characters with vastly different consequences. Gatsby’s motivations are pure when seeking his true love while Tom’s motivations are malicious and intend to hurt others. Cited Work Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1996.

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