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Comparison of Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby



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    Two men long for Daisy. Two men are in love with her. It would seem that these two men would be very similar in mannerisms to fall for a girl like Daisy, but actually, these two men fall on totally opposite ends of the behavioral spectrum. There is Tom Buchanan who is the more dominant male figure and arrogant wiseguy, and then there is Jay Gatsby who is the more reserved and morally refined man of newly gained wealth. While both characters share a deep rooted love for Daisy, their characters differ greatly in how each expresses their love for her.

    Basically the dividing difference between Gatsby and Buchanan come from their backgrounds and rise to wealth. Both men have very different attitudes because of their money, mostly. To be more precise, the way they got their money reflects on their attitudes. Tom is very crude, yet Gatsby is more refined. Tom is crude because he was born into ‘old money’, which means the money has been in his family for generations and was passed to him. He has somewhat of a lack of appreciation for some of his possessions and things in his life gained by wealth, i. e. Daisy, that Gatsby truly does appreciate because he worked for his wealth.

    However, on the other hand, since Gatsby’s “parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people” his rise to fame and fortune marks him as “new money” because of the work, blood, and sweat that went into obtaining his fortune. Another way they differ is because Tom is very overpowering. He was referred to as a ‘brute’ by Daisy, yet Gatsby is more reserved and shy. Tom is also very racist and a huge bigot. This is obvious in the way he acts and the books he reads. Gatsby, however passes very little judgment on people. This is very apparent in the party guests he invites to his house. He always has a wide range of people at his house.

    Tom is a prime example of a selfish man. He has all this wealth and luxury but decides to use it to sleep around on Daisy with his mistress, Myrtle, He also uses it alot on himself, buying himself fancy cars and other things. Gatsby on the other hand uses his wealth to impress and win back the only girl he’s ever loved. In fact, Daisy was a large reason as to why he even began to build his wealth. He quit his janitoring job and began to build his wealth simply to one day be able to win Daisy with it because he knew that in order to be with a rich girl like Daisy he had to get rich himself. Another difference between the two of them s that Gatsby’s take on things is more unrealistic.

    For example, Gatsby is under the delusion that “of course [he] can” “repeat the past. ” He believes that he still has a chance at winning Daisy back despite the obvious fact that she is not only married to Tom, but also a mother of a child. Thus he believes that winning Daisy back is an opportunity for him to turn back the clock. While monetary differences causes the characters to differ from one another, it also connects some of their behaviors. Although Tom and Gatsby are very different individuals, there are plenty of ways that these two are similar.

    Both men love Daisy, although Gatsby shows it better. He treats her much better than Tom does and would never cheat on her. Both are also very hostile towards each other. Tom doesn’t like Gatsby because he can feel that he’s having an affair with his wife, because according to him“the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. ” Gatsby doesn’t like Tom because he has the only girl he’s ever loved. “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. ” Also, the men have their very shady affairs. For Tom its with women and for Gatsby its with business.

    Another thing that’s common between the two is that they want to be financially secure and financial social status is very important to them. Tom is always flaunting his cars and the fact that he went to Yale and was apparently a star football player there. Gatsby quit his janitoring job because of the humility he had to be of a lower social status. While the methods of how they gained their money altered their perceptions and attitudes, their love for Daisy is ultimately what links them together. Looking at the different qualities between Jay Gatsby and Tom, its very clear who is the better choice for Daisy.

    However, Daisy in the end would pick Tom over Gatsby. Although Gatsby treats her like a queen, Tom ensures her financial security, because Tom was born into old money. Old money means security. Also, old money has a sort of higher social class than new money, because typically people who have old money are from a prestigious family, which is how the money got into the family. When it comes to her life, Daisy is in it for the social status and the money, which why Tom wasn’t fretting when she threatened to leave him. He knew she would never leave him, her life was at too much of a luxury.

    Comparison of Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. (2016, Oct 28). Retrieved from

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