In Chapter Two of the Great Gatsby, why does Tom insult George Wilson? What is the significance of him bashing Wilson?

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Tom Buchanan is a rich, upper-class alpha male who loves nothing more than to bully, dominate, and control those around him. And George Wilson experiences this firsthand. To Tom, George is just a poor sap, one of life's losers. Tom simply cannot respect George. He's an unsuccessful businessman operating a run-down garage in the Valley of Ashes; not only that, but he's also a cuckold whose wife cheats on him with Tom. Tom insults George because he feels entitled to. His wealth and high social status have given him a sense of superiority over anyone outside his class or income bracket. People like George are just there to be used and then casually discarded when they no longer serve any purpose. And Tom does indeed use George, seeing in him an opportunity to destroy Gatsby, someone else who doesn't fit into his elite, old money world.

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The way Tom and George Wilson interact tells us a lot about these two characters.  Tom insulting George lets us know that he makes himself feel better by putting others down.  We see Tom behave this way towards his wife, his mistress, and many other people in his life.  He seems to make himself feel more important and self-confident by putting others down and insulting them.  It also lets us know that Tom truly believes he is better than everyone else.  He thinks because he was born to wealth and privilege that he is more deserving and can take whatever he wants.  George quietly takes Tom's insults without much complaint.  This tells us something about George's gentle, quiet demeanor.  Tom eventually uses George's quiet demeanor to get back at Gatsby.

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