Great Gatsby: Theme and character anlysis of Tom a

nd DaisyGreat
Gatsby: Theme and character anlysis of Tom and Daisy
Greed, Corruption, the Search of Ones
Self and the 1920’s
The characters’ search of their own identities
and the struggle that ensues is the most suffusive theme throughout The
Great Gatsby . The fact that we never really know the characters, and the
corrupt immoral things they do, directly represent the 20’s high society
lifestyle. The characters continued to cheat on their spouses, let money
become their obsession, and debated the American dream for the hopes of
one day obtaining happiness. But the fact remains that they have no true
morals or ideals of themselves as individuals. These are a group of people
who –no matter how cocky and self- confident they seem– have absolutely
no idea of what they are doing (as many men and women of the 20’s do not).

Tom and Daisy are two examples.

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Daisy is a hospitable character who had
a love for parties and tended to lose herself in them and the drinking.

Daisy once said, “What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon, and the
day after that, and the next thirty years?” This quote not only means she
lives for one day at a time never thinking of the future, but that she
truly has no idea of what to do with herself. She is like loose change
floating around wandering from party to party, man to man, friend to friend,
in a big house in East Egg with no sense of purpose. She once attempted
to plan something when she first reunited with Nick. She said, “What’ll
we plan? What do people plan?” meaning she has never had to make decisions
nor has she had much responsibility. Not only does she have no purpose,
she has no morals. She literally killed a woman and went home to eat cold
chicken. What more, her lover was killed and she left on a trip missing
his funeral. Show me a woman who has no morals or goals and I’ll show you
a woman who is searching for her own identity.

Tom Buchanan is a small man hiding in a
big house with an equally large ego. In fact, he once remarked that women
run around too much and meet the wrong kind of people. This statement is
both arrogant and ironic because he runs around with the wrong people,
and women run around with him- he being the wrong people. Also, when stating
this he was most likely referring to his wife, and subtly putting her down
for her relationship with Gatsby in a most conceited way. Tom is not a
caring or sympathetic man. He did not attend his mistress’s- Myrtle’s-
funeral. Tom cared a great deal about his image. Enough to uncover the
history and truth about his wife’s lover, and openly embarass him for it.

Tom is so desperately an empty man that he believes he can define himself
with exterior belongings. He is trying to find his identity by looking
for happiness in nice cars (his is a ridiculous yellow luxury vehicle),
money and a good woman- be it he has to cheat on his wife to do so. But
what about if the money runs out? What happens if his wife finds another
lover also? or one of his women kills the other? One day he will look himself
in the mirror and not like what he sees, and only then can he finally forget
about the image and just be.

To best describe Daisy’s, Tom’s, and the
1920’s high society’s relentless quest for money and aimlessness existence
is Daisy and Tom’s own relationship. They were once young lovers with a
hold on the world like their hold on eachother but that too tarnished like
a gilded cup and saucer. Tom once carried Daisy down from the punch owl
so her feet wouldn’t get wet. But the weight of time has pulled at their
love until Tom was seen as a racist man reading The Rise of Colored Empires
who depends on a mistress to fulfill his need of lust and to be apart from
home life, leaving Daisy ignorant and smiling. She hoped her daughter would
be a fool of a girl so nothing would hurt her, a lesson she learned from
living with Tom. While their marriage seems to be falling apart Daisy finds
a man from her past- Gatsby-who has a heated desperation for her love-
enough so to acquire a huge home and beautiful shirts, and throw


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