The Great Gatsby-How Do You Respond to the View That It Is Very Difficult for Readers to Feel Anything Other Than Contempt for Tom Buchanan?

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How do you respond to the view that it is very difficult for readers to feel anything other than contempt for Tom Buchanan?

It is very difficult for readers to feel anything other than contempt for Tom Buchanan throughout the novel. Fitzgerald uses Tom’s behaviour and attitude from the first time we are introduced to his character in chapter 1 to present him as a bully through his racist and unpleasant language assisted with his tough appearance. Daisy uses animalistic language to describe Tom as a ‘hulking physical specimen’ which highlights to the reader his potential strength and power of his build creating a sense of intimidation and fear that needs to be had for the other characters especially as he is powerful already through his riches.
Fitzgerald uses Tom’s characteristics and actions within Tom and Daisy’s relationship to convey negative feelings about his character to the reader. Their relationship involves Tom abusing and shouting at Daisy creating an instant dislike to him. Daisy accuses Tom of ill-treating her saying “I know you didn’t mean to, but you did do it. That’s what I get for marrying a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen of a ——”. The fact his own wife described him as having a bully like appearance suggests he doesn’t possess the attributes of a pleasant person especially when compared to the way Daisy describes other people she loves like Gatsby who to her resembles "the advertisement of the man” implying through the symbolism that Gatsby is a flawless man in every way which reflects the modernity of the age. Fitzgerald emphasises these negative feelings we should feel towards Tom through his attack on his mistress Myrtle, despite her encouraging behaviour, ‘making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand’ describing how Tom not only hits his wife but also hits his mistress. It highlights to the reader Tom’s brutality in addition to his need of a mistress only to satisfy him so when

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