English Composition 303
Compare and Contrast The Great Gatsby is a classic novel in which money is the focus of Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan’s lives. They seem to be very similar. Both men like to show off their wealth, but as one digs deeper it obvious that Jay Gatsby is an exceptional person. Both men are rich, yet Gatsby is a self-made man. He came from nothing and with hard work and little bit of luck he earned all that he had.
Tom is a very shallow and cold-hearted person who doesn't care about others as long as it doesn't affect him. He prides himself in his wealth and arrogantly boasts any time he can. Tom sees himself above anyone who does not have money. He cares little for others and takes no responsibility for his faults and misgivings; instead he proceeds to hideaway into the protection offered by the indulgences of his wealth and status. Tom is also a racist and sexist, and he never considers trying to live up to the moral standard that he demands from those around him. Having power and control over people is something that Tom considered important in his life. Throughout the novel he has shown, time and time again that he is the type of person who likes to control others and what they do.
Even though Jay Gatsby is mysterious in letting his past be known, he has the ability to transform his hopes and dreams into reality. Gatsby is a loyal and good-hearted man and is motivated through his identity and wealth to reclaim Daisy as his. Gatsby discloses himself to be an innocent, hopeful man who risks everything on his dreams, not realizing that his dreams are unworthy of him.
Tom Buchanan lives in East Egg and comes from old money in which he has inherited. He attended Yale and was a ruthless football player. He would often refer to the newly rich as “bootleggers”. He is worried with what he sees as the defeat of his own high status and is the perfect example of "old money". Tom’s money represents an elitist aristocratic component in American culture. Tom uses his pronounced wealth and loud personality to keep Daisy interested in him. When Tom and Daisy got married he gifted her a $350,000.00 string necklace of pearls to wear.
Jay Gatsby lives in West Egg also known as new money. His character represents the newly riches of West Egg and their lavish spending. Gatsby was a diligent hard working man who was willing to improve himself even though he used illegal ways and broke the rules to accumulate his money. Gatsby strives for Daisy's affection and tries to become wealthy in order for him to be more desirable to her. He believes that being wealthy and part of the upper class society would make Daisy instantly be with him. He would throw lavish parties once a week. Guests who came weren’t invited