Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby... perfect foils?
By: Daniela Calderon
In “The Great Gatsby,” written by Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are two characters that struggle with the idea of losing their shared love interest, Daisy. Tom and Gatsby’s attachment to Daisy is differently justified due to their contrasting views, personalities, attitudes, actions, backgrounds, and other factors, some of which they do share and concur in. Fitzgerald did a great thing here. He created two purposefully different characters- one that is easily despised, the other that although not perfect, is likable- and united them in their love for money, the power that comes with it , and their haunt for the ultimate prize – Daisy. In this essay,
…show more content…
Gatsby’s father says to the narrator, Nick, “Jimmy was bound to get ahead... Do you notice what he’s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that”, and that is exactly what Gatsby did. Gatsby left his home town and set out to find his fortune, and although some of his actions were not too admirable, James Gatz, the poor farm boy, used his ingenuity to reinvent himself and become Jay Gatsby, the self-made millionaire. Fitzgerald makes Gatsby’s residence in West Egg, where the newly rich reside, a place for a class of vulgar and ostentatious people who will always lack the social grace and taste that the residents of East Egg possess, and can only be achieved from birth. Although the green light in Daisy’s garden is symbolic for hope, I think it also symbolizes the “green-eyed monster”. It symbolizes the envy and frustration Gatsby must feel through the realization that even though he achieved an incredible amount of wealth, he will never be an East Egger. Gatsby’s impoverished past makes him unacceptable to this socially elite East Egg society that Tom was born into, and is naturally an accepted part of.
Now that we know about their contrasting pasts, let us take a look at their personalities. Tom is an overpowering, large man who uses