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Characterization of Tom in “The Great Gatsby” Essay

In the first three chapters of The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, he characterized Tom Buchanan as violently aggressive in order to show the kind of man that had turned out from the Ivy League school and have contributed to two different social classes. For example, in the first chapter of the book, Nick introduces us couple of characters as well as Tom Buchanan and he says the following “Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward” (pg.7). We are told that Tom has a hard mouth and arrogant eyes.

He is said to be always leaning forward aggressively, making up for the unmanly clothes he’s wearing at the time and very muscular with a “cruel” body. Nick describes Tom looking aggressive just by his looks without any further detail of how he acted aggressively. As a graduate from a prestigious school, Tom would be expected to be more characterized as a good, pleasant character when describing an educated man, however Tom was the opposite and Fitzgerald does this to show that the characteristic of a man does not depend on the school they had attended and graduated from. Furthermore, in chapter 2 it is proven that Tom is violent “Sometime toward midnight Tom Buchanan and Mrs. Wilson stood face to face, discussing in impassioned voices weather Mrs.

Wilson had any right to mention Daisy’s name…I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai- Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand” (pg.37). At their little gathering party, Tom there breaks his lover, Myrtles, nose just because Myrtle had not stopped chanting Daisy’s name even if she had been warned by Tom before. Tom expresses his aggressiveness when he becomes violent when Myrtle does not stop. Fitzgerald is showing that not all man graduating from Ivy League school such as (Yale, Oxford, and Princeton) are all well-mannered, with a good characteristic as one would think.

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