Masculinity Deficiency In The Great Gatsby

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Masculinity Deficiency To be a man in the 1920s, one had to be composed, callous, and dominant: the picturesque image of man at the time, yet all a facade. Consequently, men became a production of society, solely displaying their outward image, but never their true personalities and in this way, it was of no fault of their own that they became ignorant to the happenings of their surroundings. This was especially true of those men of higher classes. The well-to-do became accustomed to very lavish lifestyles, blindsided by both societal pressures and their overabundance of money. Being of a higher class, they were also expected to constantly act in a posh, educated manor and never be belittled by those of lower classes. These insurmountable expectations left much for men to reach for, as not all could live up to it. Instead, they were forced to overcompensate. Such is the life of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby: overcompensation. Throughout many aspects of his life it seemed that he felt like a failure, unsuited for his class, but nonetheless, he continued to strive towards the life he believed he should lead. Yet he always fell short. In his uneducated speakings, begs for Daisy’s affection, and true feelings of sorrow after money is no longer able to aid him, Tom Buchanan becomes a pitiable character with humane undertones beneath his deeply seated facade of the “ideal” man of the time. In attempting to live up to this sophisticated lifestyle, Tom believes he must have an
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