That is the reason why he is acting so tough and also why he hates Jay Gatsby so much, it is because he is afraid, afraid that the world that he knows and all the old-fashioned values of love, wealth and masculinity will come crashing down on him. He dislikes Gatsby because he is part of the new generation and he got rich by a different way to himself, Gatsby also steals his wife from right under his nose. Tom and Gatsby conflict is symbolic of the same conflict that existed between the old world of pre asses and the new world that spawned from the ashes Of the Great War and the prohibition era.
Tom Buchanan stands for everything about the old world and why that world and all its ideas and values must be demolished in order to make a new and better world. Tom Buchanan has a very different view Of love and his view might be thought of as strange or even despicable when thought upon by today’s civilized citizens. But we must remember that his views were considered as normal and even commonplace as viewed by his fellow contemporaries with similar ideas. He starts an affair with a girl of a lower socio-economic class, a woman named Myrtle Wilson. She is described as, “A thick’s figure of a woman….
She was in the middle thirties and faintly stout. ” Myrtle is the wife of a poor, hardworking but timid mechanic called Wilson who owns a garage and enters a business deal with Tom and is constantly harassed by him. He doesn’t treat her very well however as he views her only as an object of desire and one time he let his short fuse take over and lashed out at Myrtle breaking her nose, “Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with an open hand,” This is evidence that Tom is a misogynist, further evidence can be found in the harsh way that he speaks to his wife, Daisy.
He is also shown to be a very hypocritical man when it comes to love, he would not let Gatsby near Daisy because he fears that Daisy will fall for him and start an affair. He doesn’t like this and feels that only he is allowed to go out and have extramarital affairs while his wife is forbidden to engage in the same activity. Tom’s thinking on love was considered very normal at the time and his activities were probably imitated by many of his associates but this view of love is very false, unfair and sexist.
This is one Of the reasons Why Tom’s Old world must go. Tom believes that wealth is everything and that would be true in his case and anyone else who lived in that world at that time. Tom is nothing without his vast wealth. He would not have a beautiful wife like Daisy, he would not have the sigh socio-status that he enjoys now, he would never be able to afford that big villa and he could never have started an affair with anyone. Tom never forked for his wealth, he never did.
Instead he avgas born into a very old but wealthy family and inherited all the money once his parents died. Nick says, “His gamely were enormously wealthy… ” This was the common way for all the wealthy, elite class people to get their money in the asses. After the Great War there was a new group of wealthy socialites that came flooding in all around America. Gatsby and Jordan Baker are both a part Of this new group. They were called the “New Money” because they obtained their wealth through hard work and they earned every cent.
This group of new people are now stepping in and slowly taking over more and more of the old group’s respect, status and power. Many of the old group including Tom despised these people and they always tried to keep a distance between them, Tom is now a symbol of the “Old Money’ and their out dated ideas of wealth and his conflict with Gatsby also illustrates the same conflict that existed veneer the two social groups of the asses, Tom is a big bull off man. He is strong, athletic, bulky, big, tall and well-built, avian played football in college, “… Ad been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football in New Haven. ” All these words seem to indicate that Tom is a very manly and macho type of man but Fitzgerald seems to indicate differently, for example Tom never went to war like Nick or Gatsby, He beats up women which indicates that he is a coward and he is insensitive. Tom is also a big bully who bullies all those around him; he uses his size, wealth and social status to force others to do vat he wants.
He intimidates the timid Wilson to enter an unfair business deal with him, he also threatens Daisy and treats her harshly n order to shift the blame of Myrtle’s death to Gatsby and to escape after. Tom hated Gatsby the minute he saw him, but he likes Nick because he is quiet and usually stays out of his way. Tom is selfish and hypocritical he will use whatever means he can to get whatever he wants, he does not care how many people gets harmed in the process nor does he care how many friends he will lose, as long as the end is right just for him and not anyone else.
Tom Buchanan is also a racist man as seen when he talks about a book he has read, “Have you read the Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard? Well this fellow has worked out the hole thing, it’s up to us the dominant race to watch out or these other races will take over. ” He is scared of other races taking over the world and so treats them badly now, Tom’s ideas or racism and dominance is yet another example of the commonplace ideals and philosophies of the ancient world and we can see now why those ideas were wrong and had to be corrected or removed from society completely.
Tom Buchanan is clearly the antagonist of the story. He is every undesirable trait that can be gathered from any man rolled into one, He is racist, hits women, promiscuous, violent, short tempered, a bully, a hypocrite and a no-good, selfish route His presence in The Great Gatsby is very simple but important, he is the personification of the old world ideals.
His ideas of love, racism, wealth and women were the same as any other men who lived in that time period, His conflict and clashes with Gatsby illustrate the idea of how the old world will sooner or later clash with the new world and how vicious the fighting can turn into. The Great Gatsby is a modernist novel which means that it’s story shows what was wrong with the Old and current world, speaking about them in a more harsh, resenting and realistic tone than the novels which preceded it, It was the iris Of its kind and was not met With great success at the time Of its release but is treasured now.
Tom and Jars tension is the embodiment of the same tension of the asses Which was when Fitzgerald lived and he uses Tom to illustrate the very wrong and childishly stupid ideas of the past and how it has to be extinguished or continue following theses ideals and destroy the world. At the end of the novel, Tom and Daisy vanish into thin air and was never seen or heard of again, this is also symbolic of the prohibition era and how it also similarly disappeared and never mentioned again.