The Great Gatsby Essay

Submitted By valerialahti
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Pages: 4

Tom Buchanan vs. Gatsby
In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, in chapter two Tom Buchanan throws a Manhattan party that is later juxtaposes the Gatsby party in West Egg. Fitzgerald uses this comparison to depict the 1920’s as a period, after the war, corrupted with social and moral values. Although both parties of Tom and Gatsby’s are filled with booze and drugs, the purpose behind the parties are very diverse. Gatsby has parties simply to attract the attention of Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby himself didn’t attend his parties and was rarely seen during them. Tom attends the parties and becomes on one of the biggest boors there. Gatsby’s party also juxtaposed Gatsby’s actions; while all the guests attending his party are selfish and Gatsby was very generous, just like the guests wanted a good time at his parties and Gatsby wanted Daisy.
Daisy is now married to Tom, but before she and Gatsby were madly in love. Despite their passionate love, Daisy left Gatsby for Tom for this money, knowing Gatsby didn’t have anything. Becoming one of the wealthiest people in West Egg, Gatsby used his prosperity to get Daisy back. Gatsby’s parties are his hopeless attempts to draw Daisy’s attention back to him. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates his main juxtaposition through the comparison between Tom and Gatsby; the old money and the new money, the West Egg and the East Egg.
Island district of East Egg; Nick, like Gatsby, resides in nearby West Egg, a less fashionable area looked down upon by those who live in East Egg. West Egg is home to the nouveau riche, people who lack established social connections, and who tend to vulgarly flaunt their wealth. Like Nick, Tom Buchanan graduated from Yale, and comes from a privileged Midwestern family. Tom is a former football player, a brutal bully obsessed with the preservation of class boundaries. Daisy, by contrast, is an almost ghostlike young woman who affects an air of sophisticated boredom. At the Buchanans's, Nick meets Jordan Baker, a beautiful young woman with a cold, cynical manner. The two later become romantically involved.
Jordan tells Nick that Tom has been having an affair with Myrtle Wilson, a woman who lives in the valley of ashes, ­ an industrial wasteland outside of New York City. After visiting Tom and Daisy, Nick goes home to West Egg; there, he sees Gatsby gazing at a mysterious green light across the bay. Gatsby stretches his arms out toward the light, as though to catch and hold it.
Tom Buchanan takes Nick into New York, and on the way they stop at the garage owned by George Wilson. Wilson is the husband of Myrtle, with whom Tom has been having an affair. Tom tells Myrtle to join them later in the city. Nearby, on an enormous billboard, a pair of bespectacled blue eyes stares down at the barren landscape. These eyes once served as an advertisement; now, they brood over all that occurs in the valley of ashes.
In the city, Tom takes Nick and Myrtle to the apartment in Morningside Heights at which he maintains his affair. There, they have a lurid party with Myrtle's sister, Catherine, and an abrasive couple named McKee. They gossip about Gatsby; Catherine says that he is somehow related to Kaiser Wilhelm, the much-despised ruler of Germany during World War I. The more she drinks, the more aggressive Myrtle becomes; she begins taunting Tom about Daisy, and he reacts by breaking her nose. The party, unsurprisingly, comes to an abrupt end.
Nick Carraway attends a party at Gatsby's mansion, where he runs into Jordan Baker. At the party, few of the attendees know Gatsby; even fewer were