Tom Buchanan Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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Tom Buchanan, the Great American Scoundrel

In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Buchanan is the classic representation of an American scoundrel in the 1920 's. Tom 's role is of the wealthy, powerful, controlling, and cheating husband to Daisy Buchanan. Tom is of the upper class, and he is proud of his old money, of where he lives, and his white race. Fitzgerald describes Tom as a manipulator this being the worst of his qualities. Tom is a scoundrel, and no sliver of empathy can be given to Tom, due to his reckless behavior. Tom behavior effects everyone around him as a result if his selfish behavior two people die. Myrtle is murdered by his wife Daisy and Gatsby is murdered by George Myrtles husband. Both murders could have been avoided if Tom was more of a man and less than a scoundrel.

Fitzgeralds describes Tom as a big, powerful man: " Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body-He seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top
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" Nowadays, people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and whites." (pg. 130) It was not very common to see interracial marriage in the 1920 's, and as a matter of fact in most of the of the United States it was illegal. It was not until 1967 that interracial marriages became legal (Loving v. Virginia). Tom 's way of thinking was not innovating like the 1920 's were. If Tom would have been open minded, he would have seen that that interracial marriages were going to be accepted. Tom sees a problem between black and white people: " The idea is if we don’t look out for the white race we will be---- utterly submerged." Tom is trying to convince Nick of his racial thoughts. Tom believed that only his opinions matter, but, his thoughts are very simple and
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