The Great Gatsby

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Tom Buchanan is a prime example of the appearance vs. reality illusion. Firstly, as a wealthy, popular, and well known man, Tom pushes for the perfect family image. In realty, Tom's family is the farthest thing from perfect. It is made clear that Daisy is very unhappy with her marriage to Tom. At the dinner table, Daisy quickly brings up the issue that her finger is bruised and is in pain. Daisy quickly blames Tom. "That's what I get for marrying a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen of a-" (12) Tom makes it clear to Daisy that he doesn't like it when she refers to him as "hulking", but she continues to use the term to describe him anyways. Daisy's defiance to her husband shows how unhappy she is with their marriage. Although whenever around other wealthy friends Tom makes it out as if they are extremely happy together. Secondly, Toms affair with Myrtle Wilson also adds to this imperfect family and the reality vs. appearance theme. Tom is does not put any effort into concealing his affair form his wife. Later on that night at dinner, Tom gets a phone call. Daisy excuses herself form the table leaving only Nick and Jordan. It is here that Jordan reveals Tom's mistress. "Tom's got some woman in New York." (15) It is obvious to both Jordan and Daisy that Tom is seeing another woman, yet neither of them do anything about it.

Finally, Jay Gatsby epitomizes the appearance vs. reality theme. As Gatsby is new money he desperately want to be accepted by the old money of the East egg. Furthermore, Gatsby lies about how he acquired his wealth. He actually obtains his money by bootlegging. As Tom Buchanan drives Jordan and Nick into town he shares he has been 'making a small investigation of his past'. "He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That's one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him and I wasn't far wrong." (134) Gatsby...
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