The first time Nick Carroway meets Tom Buchanan in person in Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” we are shown a very clear impression of him. Nick described Tom as a “violent body”; already this shows Tom is a man of action who lets his actions speak for him. Nick continues to describe Tom by saying he is “always leaning aggressively forward…with a supercilious manner. ” This shows that Tom finds himself above Nick and gives a hint of an aggressive man. Combine that with a “violent body” and I get the impression of a person I don’t want to be around.
Tom’s supercilious manner is emphasised when he attempts to show his authority over George Wilson after Myrtle Wilson has been run over. “That car belonged to Gatsby, George Gatsby. ” Previously Tom tried to take advantage of George by offering to sell him Gatsby’s car. This shows how little Tom cares for others, and that he is not afraid to try and control the situation. Again this makes me feel little respect, and instead contempts, for Tom Buchanan. Tom’s desire to control the situation is emphasised by what he says and does.
Throughout “The Great Gatsby”, Tom is a control freak. He likes situations to play out as he wants them to, and will exert his strength over others. This is subtly mentioned throughout the book as in “Tom opened the door forcefully, ‘Come on, I want you to meet my girl’”. The fact that Tom “forcefully” opened the door and then used the imperative to instruct Nick out of the car rather than asking him, makes me again start to detest Tom Buchanan. He suspects Jay Gatsby as a bootlegger; the first time he lays eyes on Gatsby “He’s a bootlegger. This shows how quick Tom is to degrade and judge others as the only premise is he had for calling Gatsby a bootlegger was that Gatsby threw lavish parties. This again makes me feel contempt for To Buchanan. After this assumption, Tom gathers information about Gatsby’s private life. “I know more about you than you think, I’ve got men on you. ” Invading somebody’s private life to me is absolutely awful, and it makes me feel undeniably that Tom Buchanan is a person I wouldn’t like to be around.
Others also regard Tom Buchanan in a negative light. They describe him as “careless, supercilious, hulking” All these points emphasis the awful man that is Tom Buchanan. The final act that leaves no doubt that Tom Buchanan is an awful man is his carelessness for others and the physical harm he deals to people. His wife Daisy held up an injured finger and said “you did this Tom…That’s what I get for marrying a brute of a man…. hulking. ” Tom disregards the statement and leaves to talk to the woman he is having an affair with.
This disgusting act puts me beyond doubt that Tom Buchanan is an awful person. Fitzgerald makes me feel that Tom Buchanan is a terrible person through the fact that he injures others, is careless what others say about him and his need for materialism and control. Tom Buchanan can be summarised through this quote “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy. They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together leaving others to clean up the mess they had made. ”