Comparison Tom and Gatsby in "The Great Gatsby"

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby
  • Pages : 4 (1570 words )
  • Download(s) : 520
  • Published : January 8, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby... perfect foils?
By: Daniela Calderon
In “The Great Gatsby,” written by Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are two characters that struggle with the idea of losing their shared love interest, Daisy. Tom and Gatsby’s attachment to Daisy is differently justified due to their contrasting views, personalities, attitudes, actions, backgrounds, and other factors, some of which they do share and concur in. Fitzgerald did a great thing here. He created two purposefully different characters- one that is easily despised, the other that although not perfect, is likable- and united them in their love for money, the power that comes with it , and their haunt for the ultimate prize – Daisy. In this essay, we will analyze Tom and Gatsby’s differences and similarities in several areas, and decide whether or not they are perfect foils of each other like they are commonly perceived to be. To describe who Tom and Gatsby are, we must first analyze where they come from. In this area, Tom Buchannan and Jay Gatsby couldn't be more different. Tom comes from an old and wealthy Chicago family, hence his residence in East Egg where the old aristocracy of the country’s richest families reside. Tom symbolizes the idea of being born into a golden crib, a prestigious family name, and into old money. Tom is one of those privileged few who never had to work for anything in his life, but is “privileged” the right description for him? Fitzgerald says in the story, “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, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” Tom’s past never allowed him to learn how to own up to his mistakes, accept fault, and deal with difficult situations, but rather made him unable to adapt to the real world. Because of this, I use the term “privileged” loosely when describing...
tracking img