Character Analysis of Tom Buchanan

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Character Analysis of Tom Buchanan


Out of the five main characters in the Great Gatsby, I disliked Tom Buchanan the most (
however his wife Daisy was a close second). He just didn't seem like he was a nice person,
and he also seemed extremely self-absorbed. I don't believe that he and I would choose the
same values that we would consider important in guiding our lives.


One of Tom's important values is wealth. He was very rich and thought that it made him
superior to other people. He enjoys showing off his possessions, " I've got a nice place
here. It belonged to the Demaine oil man" (Great Gatsby, 12). In this case, Tom is showing
Nick his house and obviously thinks that because it belonged to the Demaine oil man that
it makes it a little more important. Tom thinks that poor people are inferior to him and
he is quite the snob. He is from old money and often refers to the newly rich as "
bootleggers", people who distributed alcohol during prohibition.Tom doesn't think much of
Gatsby , and claims that he pegged him as a bootlegger the moment he saw him. When Daisy
tells Tom that she is leaving him for Gatsby he says, " She's not leaving me! Certainly
not for a common swindler who'd have to steal the ring to put on her finger!" ( 140).
Later, Tom even sends Daisy home with Gatsby , adding that his presumptous flirtation was
over.


Power and control over people is something that Tom considers important in guiding his
life. Throughout the novel he has shown, time and time again that he is the type of person
who likes to control others and what they do. Sometimes he is nothing more than a bully
and other times he is just cruel.He often talks to George Wilson, his mistress' husband
about selling him his car, which he never actually intends to do. He is simply toying with
the man, but becomes angry when Wilson tries to talk to him about it: " Very well then , I
won't sell you the car at all... I'm under no obligations to you at all...And as for your
bothering me about it at lunch time I won't stand for that at all!" (122). Tom was being
extemely cruel at that moment because Wilson needed the money that would come from the car
and Tom didn't care. There are times when Tom loses his temper when people don't obey him.
When Myrtle Wilson started shouting Daisy's name ( she said that she could say it whenever
she wanted to), Tom broke her nose. Later in the novel Tom couldn't stand it when he
realizes that his wife and mistress were " slipping precipitately from his control". He
confronts Gatsby in the hotel and says, " I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and
let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that's the idea then you can
count me out" (137). Tom couldn't stand having control so he made a scene. After ridding
Daisy of whatever courage she had, he ordered her to go home. That was how he handled the
situation.


Tom also values aesthetics, which means " tasteful or sensitive to beauty". That is not to
say that his actions are very tasteful, but that he acts like man of high class and good
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