The fact that all upper class people possess lots of money doesn’t necessarily means they are all alike. In the story we know that both Gatsby and Tom are wealthy, but they come from two very different backgrounds. Tom was born rich. He comes from old money and he is used to this leisurely high class lifestyle. Nick Carraway knows him since their college and describes him as a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence who comes from a wealthy family and even in college his freedom with money was a matter of reproach (6). In contrast with Gatsby, who originally come from a poor family and he was actually working hard to earn his fortunes. So, Gatsby never takes his wealth for granted. At the time of Gatsby’s funeral, Nick read Gatsby’s old book and find Gatsby’s old general resolves; No Wasting Time, read one improving magazine or book every week (173). Nick found out that Gatsby was a diligent hard working man who was willing to improve himself even though he later uses illegal way and break the rules to build up his money. This difference between Tom and Gatsby affect their personality furthermore the way they handle things
Their different backgrounds result in different personalities and moral characters that later influence the bad choices they make in the story. Tom is an arrogant man who often shows off his power. It makes him used to be in a position where he feels he is above another person. It even turns him into an ignorant racist who spread bad racialist ideas during lunch when Nick visits his house. Tom talks about how he and others on the table as the dominant race on the planet should do something before other race take control of the world (13). He also tries to get everything he wants without really having to bear the consequences. Just like having Myrtle as his mistress but can’t accept the fact that his action also results in Daisy’s affair with Gatsby (130). On the other hand, Gatsby has never shown any single behavior or statement that suggests he is an arrogant person. Gatsby never looks down on people. Instead he appears to be a timid person when he runaway during the first time he meets Tom (74). Gatsby is a romantic and hopeful person who defines optimism incorrectly. Gatsby believes that he could get Daisy back and change the past (110). Changing the past is an impossible thing to do because one can’t simply erase what has happened. So it makes him uneasy about Daisy’s statement that she loved Tom too. If only Gatsby feels contented that Daisy is willing to be with him without pressuring her to say she never loves Tom, i think Gatsby might have won the competition. However, Gatsby made the wrong choice and he has to die. Tom also makes wrong choice but somehow he never really has to bear any consequences.
Both Gatsby and Tom share the same ambition to have Daisy for themselves. Tom, who takes everything for granted, treat