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Both Wilson and Tom have wives that are being unfaithful to them. They either don’t suspect their wives or they are ignoring evidence that is overwhelming. Regardless they should have a sense of it, for their wives are barely making an effort to hide it. This reinforces the fallacy in Tom’s belief of superiority. He is just as lost and foolish as a man that he feels is barely aware, “…that he is alive.”
Both men use cruel, brute force in confronting the situation. Wilson chases his wife to her own death and Tom arrogantly forces the mistress and lover ride home in the same car. The plots then become intertwined.
Earlier in the novel, Nick noticed that these arrogant, wealthy, careless people would create messes and have other clean up the mess. This is what Wilson does for Tom. Tom doesn’t have to exact revenge on Wilson. His hands stay clean as he gets Wilson to do it for him.
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