Gatsby and Tom Comparison Contrast in ”The Great Gatsby”
“The Great Gatsby” the novel, was written in 1925 by ScottFitzgerald. From a fictional setting, on the Long Island, ScottFitzgerald aimed at depicting the reality of wealthy communities thathidden behind their luxurious houses and lavish parties. The storymainly talks about Jay Gatsby, a very rich man living in a mansion.All through the novel, Jay Gatsby is struggling to rekindle hisfeelings with a certain woman from the past. The woman in question,unfortunately, is married to a certain rich yet stubborn and arrogantman known as Tom Buchanan (Luthbury 48). This paper will compare andcontrast the both the characters, Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan in thenovel, The Great Gatsby.
To begin with, both men are deeply in love with Daisy and none ofthem wants to let go. In the process, they make a few bad decisionsin regard to morality in order to win her. They also depict a numberof differences between them by way of achieving their goals, which isTom to try to keep Daisy and Gatsby to struggle and win her back.While persistence is considered a good virtue in pursuing one’sdreams, it can also force people to do stupid things to a point ofdiscouraging disillusionment the moment they choose to break a fewrules in order to achieve their dreams (Luthbury 61)
While it may be true that all the people from the upper class havemoney, it does not necessarily mean that all of them are consideredto be alike. In the story, both men Tom and Gatsby are wealthy, butthey hail from two unique backgrounds. It is known that Tom was bornin a wealthy family and he is addicted to living a high classlifestyle. Nick Carraway is familiar with him since the time he wasin college. He describes him in a way as a national figure. One ofthese two men, Tom, is at an acute limited excellence, hailed from avery wealthy family and his freedom with money became a matter ofreproach (Luthbury 101). In contrast, Jay Gatsby initially hailedfrom a very poor family and actually has worked his way up throughhard work and resilience to acquire his fortunes. The difference withTom is that Gatsby never took his wealth for granted. Even at thetime of Gatsby’s funeral, his old book was read by Nick and it wasfound out that Gatsby had old general resolves. Nick on reading itrealizes that Gatsby was a very diligent hardworking man that waswilling to keep improving even though he came to embrace illegal wayslater. The differences between the two men affected their personalityin the manner they handle things (Luthbury 113)
Differences in their background resulted into two different moralcharacters and personalities that later influenced their bad choices.Tom Buchanan, on one hand, is a very arrogant man who shows off hispower more often. This makes him feel like he is in a place where heis above everybody else. It reaches a point where it turned him intoa racist who spread it during lunch hour at the time he was visitedby Nick, in his house. He talks about the upper class should dosomething on the planet as a dominant race. He even acquireseverything he demands without having to bear any consequences. Forexample, he intended to have Myrtle without accepting the fact thatit could have an effect on Daisy’s affair with Jay Gatsby (Luthbury121).
Gatsby, on the other hand, never showed that he is arrogant. He didnot undermine people. He appeared, instead, has timid the first timehe met Tom. He is also a romantic hopeful who incorrectly definesoptimism. He feels that he could change the past and bring Daisyback. Changing the past, however, seems impossible since on cannoterase easily what has happened. It makes him uneasy to learn thatDaisy also loves Tom. Unfortunately, Jay Gatsby made wrong choicesand he had to die. Again, Tom also made wrong choices but he somehowmanaged to avoid experiencing any consequences.
Both men have the same target to have Daisy back. Tom, who likes toassume everything, treats Daisy like a trophy and also cheats on herfrom the onset of their marriage. He never actually thought thatDaisy could be capable of leaving him. Jay Gatsby tries to set up allhe has so that he realizes his dream. He always believed that Daisyloved her and that poverty was the only thing that had kept themapart. He believed that being part of the dominant people and havingwealthy was important in having Daisy back (Luthbury 189) He neverrealizes that however much money he had, something that had alreadyhappened could not be reverted back. Both men shared a dream thatresulted in disillusionment since they believed they could achieveanything they set their eyes on while in reality, it was impossible.
In conclusion, while in the United States, especially the time whenpeople had this American Dream idea, there was the notion thatwhoever can achieve their dreams and ambitions, as long as they putmore effort, could realize it. As much as this book proved different,Jay Gatsby worked hard to realize his dream including engaging inillegal activities, and unfortunately he dies. While Tom, a wealthyperson, did not have to bear hard consequences like Gatsby did, eventhough he cheated on Daisy. These reminds us that the manner in whichwe chase our dreams has to be in a good way and we should neversacrifice morality just to acquire what we believe is achievable. Itis only Nick in the novel that survives all the drama since hemaintained his morality and a sense of honesty.
Lathbury, Roger. The Great Gatsby. Farmington Hills, MI: GaleGroup, 2000. Print.