How do you respond to the view that it is difficult for readers to feel anything but contempt for Tom Buchanan? 21 Marks We are first introduced to Tom Buchanan as Nick comments on his enormous wealth, ‘various physical accomplishments’ , and that he was a ‘national figure in a way’. What stands out about this first introduction is the first thing Nick comments on is his ‘various physical accomplishments’; the use of the word ‘physical’ gives the impression that Tom is a man who is fit and very physical.
Furthermore, his ‘various’ achievements doesn’t clarify what they are so they could be anything, they obviously boast his strength and maybe even a small hint at the fact that he could be responsible for physical violence. The ‘physical accomplishments’ of Tom Buchanan is once again confirmed when Nick describes him; he uses words such as ‘dominance’ and ‘aggressively’ which all imply that Tom is once again a very ‘physical’, muscular body, a body that is ‘capable of enormous leverage’.
A ‘cruel body’ such as the one belonging to Tom Buchanan can and will set off warning bells in the head of he reader, a ‘cruel body’ that is capable of ‘enormous leverage’ cause’s worry, wondering if that particular phrase is a clue or a foreshadow of something to come. The feeling of contempt towards Tom Buchanan is not surprising because Just from his description of muscles bulging over riding boots and ‘muscles shifting’ under his ‘thin’, ‘effeminate’ riding clothes, we can tell that the man is a very physical, more physical than mental.
The bodily image of Tom adds to the ‘physical accomplishments’ that he has conquered and due to his ‘hulking’ body and manner TTS much more believable that he could be responsible of violence. Additionally, when Daisy mentions her bruised small finger, with a ‘black and blue’ knuckle and then continues to accuse Tom of hurting it, the worries of Tom being able to hurt people becomes much more real and meaningful; he hurt his wife and doesn’t deny it, even though they have company over. Also, he doesn’t seem to have much worry or care about her or her finger.
His lack of are is once again shown when he breaks Myrtle’s nose with a ‘short deft movement’. After the actual break, Fitzgerald doesn’t mention anything about Tom; he doesn’t seem to worry over his mistress, he doesn’t apologies or help her with the repercussions of the break. His absence of care for both Myrtle and Daisy will encourage feelings of contempt and scorn towards Tom Buchanan. Not only is Tom Buchanan a violent, abusive person, he likes to push others around, in more ways than one.
He constantly is asserting his physical dominance over Nick, always dragging him and turning him where he wants him to be. In one page, Tom takes Nick around the arm and turned’ him around, ‘politely and abruptly’. Nick also lets him do this, showing he knows that Tom is stronger than him. If someone was to grab a person and turn that person around ‘abruptly’ , that person wouldn’t stand there and take it; this can show either the passive nature of the person or that the other was ignorant and proud of themselves.
The first words that are said from Tom to Nick are demeaning and insensitive; Nick is told that although he and Tom were part of the same ‘senior society’, Tom is far ‘more of a man’. The insulting comment and the carefree attitude of how it was said shows he reader that the feeling of contempt towards Tom is nothing to be ashamed of; his attitude is continuously uncivil and rude to others; especially his wife.
His relationship with Daisy is all about his ‘dominance’ over her; he constantly puts her down, not quite insulting, whenever she seems to start talking; Once Tom starts to rant about the book that he read by ‘Goddard’ he interrupts everyone, most of all being Daisy. She tries to lighten the subject by talking about the conversation between the two awhile ago but he ‘insists’ on talking about his books, looking at his fife ‘impatiently’.
His insulting behavior towards his wife doesn’t end there; Tom is talking about how they are all ‘Nordic’ but hesitates before including Daisy. Toms insulting and obnoxious behavior is not Just focused and cornered on Daisy, he even has the audacity to interrupt Jordan, who is more of Daisy’s friend than his. His unpleasant behavior doesn’t have any bounds since he’s showing his ‘dominance’ over his wife’s friend, and cousin since Nick is closely tied to Daisy, rather than himself.
The high handed manner of Tom will encourage feelings of contempt and annoyance towards him and I feel that it is a natural inclination. The feeling of contempt towards Tom Buchanan and nothing else is perfectly reasonable and understandable. The man is rude and discourteous to a number of people, one of them being George Wilson. He purposefully asks him ‘wows business’ when its obvious that ‘business’ is not too good, with his ‘unprocessed and bare’ car business. Tom further mocks George by coming into his house and then practically taking his wife out from under his nose.
Tom Buchanan is a character worthy of thing other than contempt; he constantly mocks and ridicules others who he believes to be below him, much like Nick despite the fact that they were in the same ‘senior society’. He is continuously interrupting those who opinions or points are irrelevant to him and his conversations and he is a very physical and violent person. The point that he hit his mistress unashamedly in front of company, and didn’t deny to hurting his wife’s finger, once again in front of company, subjects him to worse opinions and feelings of contempt.
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Contempt For Tom Buchanan. (2017, Jul 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/contempt-for-tom-buchanan-5548/