The Themes Of The American Dream And Jay Gatsby And Tom Buchanan

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The novel, “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald evidently portrays the themes of the American Dream, love and revenge and Power and Authority to compare and contrast the novel’s two protagonists, Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. In comparison, Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are very dissimilar and different and share very few similarities. The two characters are contrasted as, Tom Buchanan is descended from ‘old money’ and lives in the wealthier portion of Long Island known as East egg and Jay Gatsby is ‘new money’ who lives in lesser sophisticated West egg and has earned all his wealth himself. In addition to their differences, Tom Buchanan has a very arrogant and rough personality whereas Jay Gatsby is very casual and calm dealing with day-to-day …show more content…
Furthermore, Although the protagonists, Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan don’t share many common elements, such as inheriting wealth from different sources and having distinct personalities, they do share a common interest in Daisy, who both don’t want to lose, displayed through the themes of the American Dream, love and revenge and power and authority, used throughout the novel. The first example used to contrast Gatsby and Buchanan, would be the inheritance of family wealth also known as ‘old money’ which Tom Buchanan has, whereas Gatsby is ‘new money’ and built his own wealth, starting from humble beginnings from the Midwest, earning money from unlawful activities such as organized crime, aspiring to be viewed upper class as Tom Buchanan. During his younger years, Gatsby saw a vision to come out of poverty and build a life for himself which included reaching a higher social class, which included changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby, “James Gatz – That was really, or at least legally, his name…His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm …show more content…
Daisy is Tom’s wife with who she has a baby with and Gatsby’s used to be Daisy’s sweetheart back when he used to serve in the army and was sent away. Tom gets very uncomfortable with Gatsby hanging around his wife, Daisy and loses his cool when he rages out at him, “Self Control?...I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from nowhere make love to your wife” (124). Tom was referring to Gatsby who was getting very close and touchy with Daisy lately and wants him to get away from her. Secondly, Gatsby also falls in love with Daisy and becomes love-struck and cannot see the future implications of his actions, “Your wife doesn’t love you, said Gatsby. She never loved you, She loves me” (124). Gatsby was falling into the illusion that Daisy now loves him for who he is and wants to leave Tom, this causes Tom to become very angry at Gatsby and jeopardizes Daisy and Tom’s relationship. In addition, this relates to the theme of love and revenge which Tom has on his mind, as he loves his wife and doesn’t want her to go and wants to get rid of Gatsby and teach him a lesson, foreshadowing Gatsby’s death caused by Tom who tells Mr. Wilson a lie saying it was Gatsby that cheated with his wife, Myrtle. Therefore, the only element Gatsby and Tom share in common is their love for Daisy who is given a choice whether who to be with, Gatsby’s

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