The Great Gatsby – Tom Richardson
Fitzgerald makes me feel about Tom Buchanan in a negative light through what Tom does, says and what others say about him.
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...