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Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan: Character Analysis

“The Great Gatsby” is a novel written by a famous American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. This piece of literature is believed to be a critique of the idea of the American Dream. It is a lyrical image of American lifestyle, values, an extremely romantic practicalness in which people tend to persuade themselves that movement can distinguish action, that longing can characterize reality, and that feeling can stand for emotion (Rozakis 255). “The Great Gatsby” of F. Scott Fitzgerald is very carefully organized, thus, the novel’s composition seems to attract itself. The narration rotates around Jay Gatsby’s striving, achievements, acquirements, and loss of Daisy Buchanan. Flashbacks let us know that this search had neither success, it is an answer of the same striving, achievements, acquirements, and loss of the same person beloved that took place in Gatsby’s youth, before the beginning of the novel (Tyson 234). “The Great Gatsby” is a novel that represents controversies and ambivalences between two classes of people, the upper class and the middle class, over what depicts America in the best way (McDonald 111).

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Nick Carraway is the moral guideline and the narrator of the novel (Rozakis 255). In this piece of literature Nick stands for traditional moral values, he is attracted by the wealth and beauty of the Wasteland, which is denoted by New York. Furthermore, Nick comes to comprehension of flashy emptiness (Rozakis 256). From the very beginning of the novel Nick enjoys the reader’s trust. He is the veteran of the war, who wants to enter the bond business, who leaves the native surroundings and starts for some adventure. He rents a bungalow, which is sandwiched between two colossal mansions. Then Nick comes to visit his cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom, whom Nick had known since college years. At dinner Nick meets a friend of Daisy, a female golfer, Jordan Baker, who tells him that Tom has a mistress. This affaire characterizes Tom as immoral man without scruples. At the beginning of the novel Nick admits that Gatsby denotes everything for which he had a genuine disrespect; it is strange, but he finds in this man something beautiful, a reverie characteristic with certain exaggerated susceptibility to the paroles of life (Dillard 10-12). Jay Gatsby is a neighbor of Nick, who lives in a huge mansion. “While conversing privately with Nick in chapter four of “The Great Gatsby”, Jay Gatsby makes an offer to clear up some of the stories which, as Nick has already discovered, were being spread concerning Gatsby’s rise to fortune” (McDonald 111).

Tom is a person extremely polar to Nick. He is immoral, he cheats his wife, and he induces about the last five years of his life, about his lifestyle, about his wife Daisy. The basic focus is on movement from one sphere to another, on the deformations of the matter and shape which happens when Gatsby’s magic and Tom Buchanan’s rage conflict. “This process is evident in the first description of the valley of ashes in which, by the imaginative modes of transfiguration transubstantiation, the fantastic forms of the ashes themselves and of the men and cars working there mingle in a total ambiguity of perception” (Rogers 254).

Thus, comes a conclusion on the issue of the personality of Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan in the novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. After having compared the styles and images of these two main characters of “The Great Gatsby” as they are

portrayed by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the first chapter of the novel, I would like to point my attitude towards the protagonist and minor characters, who influenced his life and his attitude to life. I have examined the similarities and contrasts between the two men who play a crucial role in our understanding of the complexities of Jay Gatsby’s actions in the novel. The characters are not just extremely opposite but polar. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” seems, to be a simple work, and the plot, and the essential ideas can be summarized in one or two paragraphs. Next door to Nick in an enormous mansion lives Jay Gatsby, rich but rootless as air, mysterious as his rare smile “with a quality of eternal reassurance in it.” While visiting his cousin he meets Jordan Baker, a charming girl, who tells about Tom being dishonest. At Gatsby’s request, Nick arranges a meeting between Gatsby and Daisy, the first of several. But Daisy cannot break away fromTom, particularly after she learns that Gatsby’s wealth comes from racketeering. As Daisy and Gatsby are driving back to Long Island from a party in New York, they run down Myrtle Wilson and do not stop. Though Gatsby unintentionally reveals to Nick that it was Daisy at the wheel, Daisy allows Tom to tell Myrtle Wilson’s husband George (who already thinks that Gatsby was his wife’s lover) that Gatsby is responsible for Myrtle’s death. George Wilson shoots Gatsby and then himself, and that is that.

Works Cited

McDonald, Lyle Jarom. Sports, narrative, and nation in the fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Studies in major literary authors. Routledge, 2007.

Rogers, R. Franklin. Occidental ideographs: image, sequence, and literary history. Bucknell University Press, 1991.

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Rozakis, Laurie. The complete idiot’s guide to American literature. Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 1999.

Tyson, Lois. Critical theory today: a user-friendly guide. CRC Press, 2006.

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