Essay Tom Marxist Lens

Submitted By ronismiley
Words: 829
Pages: 4

Earl Browder once said, “Marxism is an interpretation of history which explains the progress of society as a product of the expansion of the forces of production of the material means of life, that is, the development of economy.”
The Great Gatsby fails to commemorate the exhilarating capitalist culture it depicts but instead, reveals its concealed depths of Marxist understanding. Fitzgerald’s novel exemplifies a social commentary of corruption through its grotesque characterization of those at the top of the economic heap. The most adequate way
The
Great Gatsby mocks ideology exists through the illustration of commodification. Nowhere so clearly does a character embody this as in the character of Tom Buchanan. As the most affluent man in the novel, Tom’s life revolves around money­ he lives for money, for all things are commodities to him.Tom Buchanan’s character represents a Marxist approach to
The Great
Gatsby
through his action by portrayal of social class and the way in which power and wealth are secured and retained. Tom’s marriage to Daisy symbolizes a correspondence of her “golden­girl” status for his strength and stability. As a means to prove his prosperity, he “purchases” her love in a
$350,000 worth of pearls. Tom’s commodification of the world allows him to “smash up things and creatures and then retreat back into his money,” regarding the death of Myrtle. (Fitzgerald
167). Tom demonstrates an indifference toward other people. In illustrating him as “careless,”
Fitzgerald portrays the upper class as exclusive and therefore, dominant. Although he supposedly cares for Myrtle’s life, his egotism offers otherwise. Even after Tom saw his mistress lying lifeless, he simply ran off with his money and began a new life unaffected by the traumatic

experience. In addition, he became (debatebly) morally responsible for Gatsby’s death for he yearned revenge. Tom and Daisy are a classic case of wealthy couples, a corrupt couple, who will do anything to protect themselves only. The sudden disappearance of these two reveals their blatantly impetuous behavior; they are aristocratic and incapable of accepting responsibility for their actions. Stealthily, Daisy satisfies to leave Gatsby because it allows her to break away from the consequence of murder. Even though she loves Gatsby, she unhesitantly escapes to Tom’s safety when the opportunity came. Fitzgerald’s model of American culture discloses the eviscerate effects of capitalism on socioeconomic “winners” such as Tom and Daisy Buchanan.
Similarly, Tom manipulates his prosperity to not only “purchase” Myrtle Wilson, but also various other lower­class women whom he has affairs with. According to the Marxist lens, socioeconomic rank separates people. Fitzgerald portrays this theory by the incommensurate relationship between Tom and his mistress Myrtle­­ paying for an apartment and buying a dog for her. Tom’s overpowering standing presents when he “making a short deft movement, broke her nose with his open hand”(Fitzgerald 40). Here, Tom takes advantage of Myrtle by physically abusing her because he knows she’s dependent upon him. Due to her inferiority, Tom can treat his mistress poorly without any resistance. Tom’s using of women interprets his commodified outlook on interaction that bounds within his relationships.Because capitalism promotes the correlation between the worth of a man based off how much he possesses, Tom validates his value; he considers people as object. For example, to attain Myrtle’s…