Tom Buchanan - the Great Gatsby

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Tom Buchanan – The Great Gatsby Tom Buchanan is the antagonist of The Great Gatsby. When he is first introduced in the novel, the reader learns that he is extremely rich – “his family were enormously wealthy, even in college his freedom with money was a matter of reproach”. Nick recalls his time at Yale with Tom, when the latter was ‘one of the most powerful ends that ever played football’. However, this ‘limited excellence’ seems to make everything else in Tom’s life an ‘anti-climax’ as he is constantly seeking the ‘dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game’. However wealthy Tom may be his brutal nature cannot be hidden. His gait appears egotistical, with his choice of fitting ‘riding clothes’, his positioned ‘legs apart’ and his ‘arrogant eyes’, almost giving him a sense of entitlement. As the ‘husky tenor’, speaking for the first time in the novel, announces his ‘nice place’ he positions Nick, baring his dominating manner. His snobbish and ignorant attitude is made apparent when he decisively dismisses Nick’s job with an ellipsis – “Never heard of them”. Tom’s uninterested tone is continued when topics arise such as his daughter, and he interrupts conversation with an ‘unrestful’ approach. Tom is shown to be a racist, when discussing a book he has read which concludes that ‘the white race will be submerged’. However even Tom seems to be unsure with the facts of the book, when he uses incorrect terminology and describes the evidence as ‘scientific stuff’. This could be a remark from Fitzgerald who may be mocking the idea of racism. Tom also appears to make a sexist remark, when suggesting that Jordan Baker should ‘not be allowed to run around the country in this way’, although ironically it’ll be Tom whose freedom should be disapproved as he seeks his affair. Tom’s affair throughout the novel is with a woman named Myrtle, a woman of lower
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