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Tom Buchanan

Extended Character Analysis

Tom Buchanan is a brute who embodies the preening, power-hungry narrow-mindedness of the East Egg elite. Nick, who knew Tom from their time at Yale, remarks that Tom was once an incredibly talented football player. While still wealthy and physically imposing, Tom, at the young age of 30, is already past his prime. Tom seems to be drifting through life, seeking out some “irrecoverable football game.” Much as Gatsby looks to the past in an effort to find satisfaction, so too does Tom. He is unable to move on from the glory of his college football career and instead stagnates in his wealthy world, listlessly traveling in search of the golden but unobtainable past.

Ironically, despite Tom’s dissatisfaction, he is everything that Gatsby wants to be: wealthy, influential, and married to Daisy Buchanan . However, Tom exemplifies the fact that happiness cannot be bought. He is racist, classist, sexist, and cruel, keeping mistresses without bothering to hide them from his wife. The essential difference between Tom and Gatsby is that Gatsby has had to earn everything he has, whereas Tom was born with wealth and power. Gatsby had...

(The entire section is 389 words.)