The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What do pages 17–18 reveal to us about Tom?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,231 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In chapter one, Nick visits Tom and Daisy Buchanan's home, where he is reacquainted with his cousin and meets Jordan Baker for the first time. Tom Buchanan is depicted as an arrogant, ignorant man, who brags about his wealth and attempts to demonstrate his intelligence, only to reveal that he is a racist bigot. During dinner, the telephone rings and the butler requests Tom's presence. Once Daisy and Tom leave the room, Jordan Baker quiets Nick and attempts to eavesdrop on their conversation. Jordan proceeds to tell Nick, "Tom’s got some woman in New York" (Fitzgerald, 18). In addition to Tom's arrogant, pompous attitude, the audience discovers that he has been cheating on his wife. The fact that his mistress calls his home and Daisy is aware of his infidelity emphasizes his despicable nature. As the story progresses, Tom's character becomes more appalling as he casually takes Nick with him to party with his mistress, Myrtle Wilson.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial