The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Compare Tom Buchanan and George Wilson, especially in terms of their attitudes toward women and their ways of showing violence.

Tom is substantially wealthier than George and often acts as a bully. George, on the other hand, is financially strained and bullied. Myrtle is what they have in common, as well as violence concerning Myrtle's affair with Tom. Tom breaks Myrtle's nose to make her "behave." While George does not hit his wife, after Tom's wife, Daisy, runs her over with a car, George wrongly believes Gatsby is at fault and kills him for revenge. 

 

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Tom Buchanan and George Wilson are in many ways a study in contrasts. Tom is wealthy, arrogant, entitled, and prone to physical violence, while George is poor, meek, and not prone to any physical violence that we can see.

However, they are very much alike in being deeply attached to their wives. Both are shocked when they find out their wives have been having an affair. Both want to get rid of the rival and salvage the marriage, rather than throw the wife out for adultery.

When George discovers that Myrtle is having an affair, although he does not know it is with Tom, he plans to move far away with her to separate her from the lover. Tom also wants to separate Daisy from Gatsby, and while they probably would have moved anyway to alleviate an awkward situation, the Buchanans definitely have an incentive to relocate quickly after Daisy runs over Myrtle.

A difference between the two men is that George does not feel entitled to have affairs—and is probably too busy making a living to have energy...

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