In The Great Gatsby, why does Nick call Tom and Daisy "careless people"?

In The Great Gatsby, Nick calls Tom and Daisy "careless people" because he has seen them ruin lives and then hide behind their wealth, disregard the consequences of their actions, and display insensitivity and thoughtlessness.

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Nick calls Tom and Daisy "careless people" because he recognizes them as selfish, insensitive individuals who take advantage of people and retreat back into their money without accepting responsibility for their actions. After spending time with the Buchanans, Nick is appalled by their lifestyle and reckless decisions. Nick witnesses Tom physically, verbally, and emotionally abuse Myrtle Wilson while simultaneously manipulating her husband and undermining his marriage. Since Tom is extremely wealthy, he thinks he is untouchable and even lies to George about Gatsby's involvement in his wife's death. Tom's lie results in Gatsby's death.

Nick also views Daisy as a corrupt, self-centered woman who "smashed up things" and left others to clean up the mess. Nick is disgusted by Daisy's treatment of Gatsby and knows she blamed him for Myrtle's death. Although she is unfaithful to Tom, she looks to him for support when her situation becomes dire. Both Daisy and Tom are only concerned about themselves and disappear once issues arise. They are both complicit in the deaths of three characters and skip town following Myrtle's accident.

Nick's experiences and interactions with Tom and Daisy give him insight into their selfish, reckless way of life. He develops into a jaded man with a particular distaste for the Buchanans. Nick concludes that Tom and Daisy were "careless people" who destroyed others' lives and "retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness."

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Nick refers to Tom and Daisy Buchanan as careless people because he's witnessed them ruin lives and simply disappear by hiding behind their wealth. Throughout the course of the summer, Nick Carraway witnessed Tom Buchanan manipulate George Wilson and carry on an affair with his wife behind his back. Tom displayed a complete lack of sympathy for George and was simply using him so that he could communicate with his wife on a regular basis. Similarly, Nick witnessed Daisy carry on an affair with Gatsby and play games with his heart. Once Daisy learned that Gatsby was a bootlegger, she went back to Tom because he was financially secure.

After Tom exposes Gatsby as a criminal, Daisy drives Gatsby's car and runs over Myrtle Wilson when she sprints into the street. Daisy then demonstrates her selfishness by allowing Gatsby to take the blame for the murder. Furthermore, Tom tells George that Gatsby is responsible for his wife's death and George proceeds to kill Gatsby before committing suicide. Nick recognizes that Tom and Daisy are directly and indirectly responsible for Myrtle, Gatsby, and George's deaths. Despite their actions and prominent role in several deaths, Tom and Daisy refuse to take any responsibility and leave the East Coast. At the end of the novel, Nick runs into Tom and mentions,

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made... (Fitzgerald, 191).

Nick's comments stem from witnessing Tom and Daisy's selfish, impetuous nature as they make a mess, ruin lives, and hide behind their wealth. Daisy does not even attend Gatsby's funeral and Tom shows no remorse for his actions, which underscores Nick's critical evaluation of the couple.

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Tom and Daisy never thought about the consequences of their actions. According to Nick, for they “smashed up things and
creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” This carelessness includes both Gatsby and Myrtle. After Myrtle was killed Nick does not seem to grieve but he does plan his revenge on Gatsby. Daisy does not bother to either attend Gatsby's funeral or send flowers. She and Tom simply leave town. Two years later, when Nick sees Tom again, Tom casually admits he told Wilson that Gatsby owned the car that hit Myrtle. The only thing Tom will admit crying over is a box of dog biscuits.

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Daisy and Tom Buchanan are "careless people" because they are insensitive and thoughtless. Tom physically abuses Myrtle Wilson by striking her in the face and leads her to believe he would marry her if his wife weren't Catholic, which is a lie. He misleads Tom Wilson by implying that Myrtle was Gatsby's mistress and that Gatsby was responsible for her death. Thus Tom gets Gatsby killed, but Daisy is the one who was driving the car that struck Myrtle. Daisy, of course, never admits her guilt. 

Daisy enjoys flirting with Gatsby, but when problems arise, she hides behind Tom. Somehow she doesn't foresee the confrontation that takes place between Tom and Gatsby in the hotel room, perhaps because she hasn't been taking Gatsby's attention seriously. This couple tends to run away from difficulties, mostly because they have the money to do so and they have little sense of obligation to others. According to Nick, they "smashed up other people's lives" and left the wreckage behind for someone else to clean up, someone like Nick, who does have a sense of integrity and honor.

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