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Describe the violent act Tom committed against Myrtle in "The Great Gatsby". What does...

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purplebag | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 9, 2009 at 11:34 AM via web

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Describe the violent act Tom committed against Myrtle in "The Great Gatsby". What does this reveal about him?

Just in chapter 2.

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 9, 2009 at 11:42 AM (Answer #1)

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At a party in their apartment, Myrtle keeps saying the name "Daisy" over and over. Tom hits Myrtle across the face, breaking her nose. This is the second time that Tom's penchant for hurting women is very real. When Nick first meet Daisy, she is complaining that Tom is a "brute" and he hurt her little finger. However, the incident was only alluded to by Daisy. In Chapter Two, Tom's explosive anger is actually revealed as Nick and the others in the apartment see him hit Myrtle in order to stop her taunting.

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sashalou | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM (Answer #2)

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I feel as though Tom is ashamed of being unfaithful even though he comes off like it's not big deal. Why else would he act the way he did. I think he hit her to stop her from saying Daisy's name because he didn't wanted to be reminded of his affair. Maybe..

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Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | TA | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted March 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM (Answer #3)

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Tom breaks Myrtle's nose and then smooths things over by buying her the puppy she had wanted earlier. This is an example of class and power struggle. Tom has more money and status and is therefore able to get away with things like that. Myrtle is powerless to speak out against this exploitation because of her lower status and lack of wealth. 

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