The 1920s, ten years of thriving life in America. People living the good life and people living in the slumps. East Egg, the prominent community of the old rich. People who have known money all their lives. West Egg, the up and coming community of the newly rich. Manhattan, the city of life.
The Valley of Ashes, separating the Eggs from the city. Symbolizing the poor. An aftermath of the industrial revolution. Four regions making up Long Island. In between them, the Long Island Sound. A stretch of water cutting through the land, separating the East from the West. All peoples living inside having the same American dream.
All wanting to become successful and well loved, but most of all having money was a top priority for all of them. In F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby, the character Tom Buchanan believes that just because he has lots of money, it enables him to look down on others as inferior.
Tom Buchanan is married to Daisy Baker, cousin of Nick Carraway. In his first meeting with Nick, who he knew from collage at New Haven, Nick sees Toms arrogance. To Nick, it seems that Tom uses his money mostly as an excuse to make himself seem higher than other people around him. Even to Nick. He applies this opinion of himself on many occasions, maybe not directly, but non the less his subliminal point gets across. Like saying just because Im stronger and more of a man than you are(pg.11) implies that his arrogance is there.
To Tom, his money justifies his actions towards others no matter what they are. He believes that his money lets him justify his racial slurs. His biggest prejudice is that the white race is superior and this is evident when he tells Nick of the book, The Rise of the Coloured Empires. Toms idea is that if they dont look out, the white race will be utterly submerged(pg. 17). The reason he can say these things, he feels, is that because he is so rich nobody can touch him. Even with people closest to him.
Such as Daisy, his wife. Even with her, he feels that he can get away with anything and insult her with his arrogance. Take his relationship with Myrtle. Right under Daisys nose he has the audacity cheat on her. He even takes Nick to go see Myrtle. Were getting off! he insisted I want you to meet my girl.(pg. 28) He said this to Nick.
Nick, Daisys second cousin once removed. He also finds the time to disrespect Myrtle when she mentions Daisy. By yelling at her and even beating her. He make a short deft movement and broke her nose with his open hand.
(pg. 41) By doing this, he shows that looks down on even Myrtle and Daisy. When things are the worst for him, Tom Buchanan runs to his money and hides behind it.
Same with Daisy. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever kept them together.(pg. 184) It was their money that kept them together. They used their money as shields.
Used it also as an excuse and a reason to look down on others. Bibliography: