What are the differences between Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby?  Please provide some quotes from the book to show the differences.

Expert Answers info

Kelvin Brakus eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,259 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

There are a number of differences between Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. First of all, there is a strong difference in the physical appearances of both men. Tom, for example, is described as having a "hard mouth" and "supercilious manner," suggesting that he is a mean and arrogant person. In contrast, Gatsby is described in much more positive terms. He has "attractively tight skin," for example, and Nick can see nothing "sinister" about him.

Secondly, Tom and Gatsby are very different in their attitudes toward Daisy. Tom, for example, claims to love his wife but actually has a mistress. In fact, his extra-marital relations are a common theme in their marriage, as we see in this quote from chapter seven:

He nodded sagely. "And what's more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time."

In contrast, Gatsby adores Daisy and does not have any interest in other women. All he wants to do is "recapture the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 721 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,851 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

dneshan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write371 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial