Jun 18, 2020 in Comparative Essays

Comparison of Gatsby and Tom

The Great Gatsby is an American novel that was written in 1925 by Scott Fitzgerald. The cast comprises of many characters, among them being Gatsby and Tom. These two characters have similarities and differences in terms of on their reasoning, actions, desires, conscience and well-being. Various themes, such as idealism, resistance to change, excess, social upheaval, and decadence, which are displayed by each of the characters, act as the basis of their behavior. The aspects of comparison between Gatsby and Tom include their relationships, conflicting behaviors, and personalities.

Gatsby and Tom have numerous things in common. First, they both claim to love Daisy. Tom does unreasonable actions which are driven by his malicious nature. He knows that Gatsby loves Daisy and strives to ruin their relationship. Gatsby, on the other hand, longs for the only thing that he finds difficult to possess, which is Daisy. He believes that he should become rich to get Daisy, which is not the case. Tom hurts other people by using his power trips. It is apparent that he could prevent the deaths of Wilson and Gatsby, which he did not (Hollister, 2014). This proves that he is extremely proud, besides lacking understanding of the situation. Unlike Tom, Gatsby seems to be true and good at heart. He does not hurt anyone intentionally and cares for the well-being of everyone. However, he has one thing which he does. It is noted that he chooses to become a bootlegger to acquire wealth which he could use to attract Daisy. These two characters in the novel reflect the behavior of the American Dream (Hollister, 2014). The two have dreams which are clouded, depending on the manner in which they strive to get them. This has resulted into the unrestrained urge for pleasure and money which overtakes the wholesome objectives and goals. 

Both Tom and Gatsby have some conflicting behaviors. They both frustrate each other through their actions. Each strives to bring out the bad and good thing about the other. For instance, Tom comes from a rich background, he inherited all his money. On the other hand, Gatsby is self-made, he has nothing to inherit. He is a poor man who makes every effort to obtain wealth. It is depicted that he comes from the North Dakota, lacks money, connections, and education. Gatsby’s education belongs to the “checkered” past while Tom is a product of the Ivy League (Hollister, 2014). The discourse between the two illustrates that Tom has a condescending attitude towards the lower class and education of Gatsby. Tom’s attitude brings out a demeaning class of oppressive behavior while Gatsby has world experience that is genuine. Their conversation is strained, that is, one person oppresses the other. 

The two characters, Gatsby and Tom have two different personalities. It is apparent that neither of them truly loves Daisy. Tom is egocentric while Gatsby is more pleasant than him. Even though they have similar secret affairs, they share some differences.  Additionally, both take advantage of other characters. Gatsby used Nick to get closer to Daisy. On realizing that Nik knew her, he quickly became friends with him and began to ask about her. It is through Gatsby that Nick invited Daisy for tea (Hollister, 2014).In this, he wanted Tom to leave Daisy in order to obtain a substantial reason for meeting her. When Daisy reached Nick’s house, Gatsby paid full attention to her, ignoring Nick. He behaved in a manner that suggested that Nick was not anywhere around them. Gatsby invited other people to his parties in efforts to inquire about Daisy. Just like Gatsby, Tom also involved other people when he married Daisy. He was involved in an affair with Myrtle, whom he never loved. For instance, Tom told Nick that he did not love Myrtle and that he stayed with her because they shared the same denomination - catholic. 

Tom and Gatsby are different, in that; Tom will do anything to satisfy his needs. For instance, he was unfaithful to Daisy as he was in a long-term affair with Myrtle. He ran for Daisy immediately when Myrtle died. This means that he would not have obtained the chance to marry her if Myrtle had not died. He also ignores Nick’s feelings by compelling him out of the room. Nick affirms that Tom drove him out of the room as if he was moving a checker to another place. Tom remarks that he has never heard of Nick’s employer and praises himself as he identifies with the values of the East. He considers himself a rich man and acknowledges that he would be a fool if he lived anywhere else apart from the East. On the other hand, Gatsby is the opposite of Tom. Tom is noted to be a “hulking brute of a man…. who looks more intimidating” (Hollister, 2014). Gatsby is considered a polite man who is gentler- looking. The two characters possess tough versus gentle qualities which are associated with the red color and the pink color. Gatsby wears pink clothes while Tom wears red and white clothes. 

In conclusion, the comparison between Tom and Gatsby reflects a few similarities and numerous differences. The aspects of comparison between Gatsby and Tom include the relationships, conflicting behaviors, and their personalities. They both claim to love Daisy. Tom does unreasonable actions which are driven by his malicious nature. Gatsby seems to be true and good at heart. He does not hurt anyone intentionally and cares for the well-being of everyone. They both frustrate each other through their actions. Each strives to bring out the bad and good thing about the other. Tom comes from a rich background while Gatsby has nothing to inherit. Gatsby and Tom have two different personalities. Tom is egocentric while Gatsby is pleasant. 

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