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Jay Gatsby v. Tom Buchanan

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Throughout the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the characters Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan are compared and contrasted quite frequently. Gatsby and Tom are alike in that they are both extremely wealthy and flaunt it, both men also are in love with Daisy Buchanan and both Tom and Gatsby have secrets that they are hiding from their loved ones. The two men differ in the way they came into their money, the way they treat other people and in the fact that Tom is married to Daisy while Gatsby just has an extreme desire for her. Both Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan are extraordinarily wealthy and have no problem showing it off to others. Gatsby throws lavish parties every weekend in hopes of winning back his true love, Daisy Buchanan, while Tom lives in an extravagant house and makes sure that everyone knows he is above them. Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are both in love with Tom’s wife, Daisy. Although it may take a while for Tom, while Gatsby knew from the moment he met Daisy, by the end of the novel both men realize Daisy is the most important person in his life.

Gatsby and Tom both have major secrets in their life. Tom is cheating on Daisy with Myrtle Wilson, his friend’s wife. While Tom is having an affair and lying to Daisy, Gatsby lies as well. Gatsby lies about his life and how he came into money and doesn’t tell anyone besides his friend and neighbor Nick Carraway. Although both men are similar, they differ even more. While both the men are exceptionally wealthy they came into money very differently. Gatsby had to lie and cheat for his money in his later years of his life and Tom was born into prosperity. Tom makes it very clear to Gatsby in the novel that wealth is “in his blood,” causing Gatsby to work even harder to win back Daisy. Gatsby is a very friendly and good-hearted person. He treats others with respect and truly only wants his love for Daisy to be requited. Tom, on the other hand, is a mean, almost heartless bully who hurts others to get ahead in life. Lastly, Jay Gatsby is stuck in his American dream of having Daisy like he had in the past.

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