Not only this, but he is also racist and a complete hypocrite. Fitzgerald introduces us to Tom in the first chapter of the novel by using language to describe Tom’s hard and over bearing physical description. “He was a man with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. ” “A hard mouth” shows that he is harsh and even cruel to a point; “supercilious manner ” shows that he is a person who thinks and behaves as if he is superior to others around him. This can also be seen in the way “he was standing with his legs apart on the front porch. This stance reveals his arrogance and cocky nature, this is further monstrance by the way Fitzgerald describes “his arrogant eyes”. In addition Fitzgerald talks about “the enormous power of that body” which was “capable of enormous leverage – a cruel body. ” This suggests that Tom is a big, menacing man who can bully and can cause physical harm to other vulnerable people around him and gives us an idea of the type of personality he will be throughout the novel. Tom is a self-absorbed character, Who is Obsessed With his money and social status. While showing Nick his house he says “I’ve got a nice place here…
It belonged to the Demeaned Oil man’, his property symbolizes his wealth and tutus, the fact that it belonged to somebody famous, increases its value for Tom. He also states,” Oh, I’ll stay in the East, don’t you worry. ” This shows that he is confident about his aristocratic pedigree and inherited wealth, he almost believes that it will last forever, which is why he sounds so sure that he will definitely stay in the East. Further more the use of language ‘don’t you worry’ is almost patronizing towards Nick and we can infer Tom’s arrogant attitude towards people.
He is so concerned about his status and wants to be seen as an elite East Egger when he says, ” I’d be a God damned fool to live anywhere else. This shows his snobbery and belief that he comes from an upper class and yet his statements show that he lacks all the proper values and conduct to behavior that should come with somebody of his background. Further in the novel we learn about Tom’s racist views While recommending a book he has read he states that “fife don’t look out the white race will be – will be utterly submerged. This shows his dim wit and his white supremacist attitudes, full of hate and disrespect for other races. However, Tom seems to have a deeper fear that if Other races take over the elitist White would lose their uxorious way of life and become “utterly submerged” by others. In addition later on in the novel Tom again shows his negative, ignorant attitudes when he is angry at discovering that Daisy and Gatsby have feelings for each other he States that everything Will go overboard and there Will be “intermarriage between black and white”.
Here, Tom shows his disgust for racial and class differences and hints at the consequence of what will happen if those of “Old Money” marry with the ‘new money’ (i. E. Daisy and Gatsby) ?the difference between the two socio- economic classes are as clear as the difference between black and white. Tom’s harsh expressions here give us an idea about his views on not only race but also over class, gender and power differences. Since Tom is from a rich, privileged background he looks down on people from poorer social class and also sees women as inferior.
When Tom needs gas at Willow’s garage he barks ” Lets have some gas!… What do you think we stopped for – to admire the view? This shows he is very rude, sarcastic and pushy when he considers somebody lower than him. In this case he really feels that Wilson is not much of a man and Tom is getting away with having an affair with his wife, he almost feels contempt for Wilson. This can be seen in his treatment of women as well, when Daisy suggested going to town, flow broke out get these notions in their heads. This suggests that Tom has little regard for women and their ideas and thinks Of women as play things. The use Of language here, Webber out savagely’ also shows Toms aggression and the ability to interrupt people as he Wishes. Another very important incident is when Daisy tells Tom she is leaving him for Gatsby, Tom mocks Gatsby by saying “she not leaving me! Certainly not for a common swindler bovid have to steal the ring to put on her anger. ” This shows that Tom has no respect for Gatsby and looks down on him as a commoner who not only has had to work for his money but has also made it by illegal means.
The particular use of language here “a common swindler who’d have to steal the ring to put on her finger” is very effective because it sums Tom’s pompousness and his views on people from a lower background having little values, who would even resort to stealing. Throughout the novel Tom is shown as someone very arrogant and abrupt in the way he talks to people and feels he has the authority to question others in an interrogatory manner. In his first meeting with Nick he asks Nick what he does and with which company, when Nick tells him whom he works for, Tom remarks decisively, ‘Never heard of them”.
This suggests that if the company were reputable and good enough Tom would have known about them. Fitzgerald emphasizes this by use of his language, since the fact that Tom remarks so “decisively” we can infer his sense of self importance and the feeling that he seems to think of himself an authority on all matters, this is further confirmed by the comment ‘this annoyed me’ by Nick who is the narrator of the novel and gives he impression that Nick too felt belittled by Tom.
Tom’s abrupt way of speaking to others and asking questions is also shown venue he questions Gatsby sharply “All this old sport’ business. Where’d you pick that up? ” Tom is clearly annoyed by Gatsby love for Daisy and feels that he has to mock Gatsby about his speech and false educational background and when Gatsby tries to explain that he was at Oxford for only a short time he comments heard you, but I’d like to know when”. Finally when Daisy tries to change the topic again, he snaps ‘Wait a minute”, “I want to ask Mr..
Gatsby one more question”. This shows that Tom has a very aggressive manner when speaking to people and almost interrogates them with questions. He feels that he has every right to question others in whatever way he wants to and the way he speaks has been shown clearly by Fitzgerald use of the words demanded, snapped, sharply to convey an understanding of Toms abrupt manner. As well as Tom’s other unlikable traits Fitzgerald shows that he is a bully who likes to control and dominate others and has a tendency to get violent.
This is shown both in his relationships with other characters and his behavior. The first indication of Tom’s commanding character takes place when Nick comments that as he entered Tom’s house for the first time Tom, “wedged his tense arm imperatively under mine and compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square’ This action provides an example of Tort’s over powering nature, Nick feels he is being moved like a checkered he has no choice or control over his own movement.
Further on in the book when Daisy has gone in Gatsby car and Wilson confesses that he wants to take Myrtle away on a holiday, Nick tells the reader that Tom is left feeling “the hot whips of panic. His wife and his mistress… Ere slipping precipitately from his control. ” The use Of language here indicates that his relationship With these women is more Of dominance than genuine affection because rather than being upset about losing their affection he is more panicked about losing his “control” over them. His dominating nature is particularly apparent in his relationships with the women in his life.
From Daisy’s comment, ” that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” we can infer that Tom dominates her life and she feel quite helpless which is why she believes that women are better off without a brain so hat they can’t think for themselves and just look pretty instead, since they don’t have the freedom to make any choices and control their own life. Tom’s violent nature is also shown when Daisy comments about her injured hand and says, ” you did it Tom… That’s what I get for marrying a brute of a man. ” This hints that Tom may have a tendency to use physical force.
Also Fitzgerald use of language to describe how Tom actually broke Myrtle”s nose ‘With a short deft movement” also tells us that Tom is a physically strong man used to aggression, to get his way. One of the most dissociable traits about Tom is that he is a huge hypocrite, he tryingly condemns his wife’s affair and taunts her by saying, ” suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr.. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife well, if that’s the idea you can count me out? ‘ This shows that he is a hypocrite and accuses his wife of something that he is completely guilty of as well.
The language “Mr.. Nobody from Nowhere” suggests that he has complete contempt towards Gatsby almost as if the affair wouldn’t seem so bad if it was with someone famous and rich, this again shows his shallowness. More evidence of Tom’s hypocrisy is provided when Daisy is discussing the birth of her daughter With Nick,” she was less than an hour Old and Torn was God knows where” this reveals that secretly Daisy knows that Tom has been having affairs and tells the reader that this is probably an Old habit Of his and his affair With Myrtle is not a first time occurrence.
The height of his hypocrisy and double standards show up when Tom comments,” people begin by sneering at family life and family institution… ” Although he is preaching about the value of family life, he himself has little respect for family and has double standards that he feels no guilt over. All of the above examples throughout the novel show that Tom is a highly unlikable character and Fitzgerald summarizes this up the best when he writes,” they were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money… ND let other people clean up the mess they had made. ” This quote shows clearly the level of destruction that both Tom and Daisy have created. They have left a line of innocent people dead through their lack of moral values and by not owning up to their mistakes. Their complete ‘carelessness’ can be seen in the way that they continue to live their rich, superficial lives, without any concern about anything or anybody!