Selfishness In Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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In 1920, Sigmund Freud published his first paper detailing the inner workings of the human mind. This essay was his first outlining of the id, the primal urges we feel for aggression and violence; the superego, our desire to respect society 's rules and appear “good” and moral; and the ego, our sense of consciousness that tries to balance them out. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Buchanan exemplifies the fight between his morals and his urges very well. Tom Buchanan is torn between maintaining his reputation, and his instinctual desires. As he tries to skate the line between these two, his selfishness shines through.
Tom keeps seems outwardly he is a moral man but it 's really just a show. A perfect example of this is the
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Tom takes offence to this, stating, “No, he doesn’t . . . And if you feel that way about it, maybe I’d better sell it somewhere else after all” (25). This scene is reminiscent of a child teasing a dog with a treat, whenever the dog goes to the get reward for doing his novel trick, the kid yanks it away. But it is made even worse by the fact that he is an adult, and he knows teasing poor shop owners that obviously need the money is a dastardly thing to do. He also shows his need for control in his relationships as well. When Nick is at the party with Tom, Myrtle, and all of their New York friends, Myrtle explains why she dislikes her husband, “I married because I thought he was a gentleman . . . I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” (34). In her description of why she can’t stand her husband, one can find what she sees in Tom, and what Tom sees in her. She likes being controlled. Her old husband was passive, but Tom isn’t. Tom loves this; he not only has a lust for flesh but a lust for power, and he found a woman who will gladly …show more content…
When Tom and Nick are on the train to the valley of ashes, Tom abruptly forces Nick off the train saying, “We’re getting off . . . I want you to meet my girl” with such intensity Nick describes it as “. . . his determination to have my company bordered on violence” (24). Pride in such an unfaithful and distasteful act can only be described as disgusting. He wants to show off to Nick, and show him how much of a man he is. Another example of this is when. When Nick meets Tom years later in New York, they had a standoffish conversation about what really transpired that day in the valley of ashes. After telling Nick the truth, Tom lets him know how he really feels about Gatsby’s death, confessing, “What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him” (178). Tom cares about nobody but himself. Gatsby posed a threat to him and his sham of a marriage so he’s not mad that he died, he’s relieved. Tom is a classic narcissist and cares about nobody but

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