Tom Buchanan’s ego and wealth makes him not only a bully, but, according to Daisy, “uncivilized” and a “brute.” Tom believes he is entitled to anything he wants, including Myrtle, the wife of a poor mechanic Tom often uses to repair his luxurious cars. Myrtle is definitely below Tom and Daisy in social stature, and when Myrtle doesn’t obey Tom (she won’t stop saying Daisy’s name), he hits her and breaks her nose. The money Tom has inherited makes him feel powerful and unremorseful. Nick describes Tom as a careless man who, “retreats back to his money . . . and lets other people clean up the mess he had made.” Tom’s ego makes him feel as if he is better than everyone else, and therefore, can do what ever he wants.
We also see Tom’s huge ego when he talks about race in the novel. Tom feels that he is from the “Nordic” race and was born to be more powerful than the black man. He is distraught over the possible rise of the blacks when he discusses a newly published book called, The Rise of the Colored Empires. Historically, at the time the novel is written by Fitzgerald, there is also a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920’s. Tom is portrayed as a white supremacist in the novel, in that, he is concerned he will lose his power and privilege if other races are given opportunity. This shows Tom’s selfishness and greed.
Overall, Tom is cruel character who objectifies women and is a racist who enjoys the power and privilege he has obtained as a rich man.