In the 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the nature of man, and that, though characters may live complete opposite lives and be from different upbringings, even the most contrasting of people can have similarities. In the novel, the readers are introduced to two characters named Tom Buchanan and George Wilson. Tom Buchanan is introduced as an arrogant, wealthy east egg man who has never had to work for his money. George Wilson is introduced as a poor man, living in the Valley of Ashes, who owns an auto shop as a living. Although these men are in different social classes, if you were to strip these men of their wealth, they would have more similarities than differences. Fitzgerald shows through his writing that the nature of man is aggressive, contentious, and cowardly.
From the beginning of the book, Tom is shown to be a contentious character. While Tom, Daisy, and Nick are all at dinner, Tom goes into a diatribe about the importance of the dominant race, going on to say “It’s up to us who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things” (17). Later in the text, the readers learn about an argument between George and Myrtle Wilson. During the fight, Myrtle screams at George, “Beat me! Throw me down and beat me, you dirty little coward” (144). This is one of the first signals to the reader that George may be more contentious than imperturbable.
Both men throughout the book suppress their feelings for their wives until something goes wrong. At that point, both men are willing to fight for their wives and do what is necessary to get them back or avenge for their pain. We see this when Tom, Jordan, Nick, Gatsby, and Daisy are all at the apartment and Tom has just found...
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...y” and that he “has a way of finding out” (168). This gives the reader conclusions that George, similar to tom, turns to aggression to deal with unsettling situations.
In conclusion, both men show characteristics that are similar despite their different upbringings. George and Tom can both be cowardly, selfish and controlling. Fitzgerald shows strongly that it does not matter what you have, or how much you have, but rather who you are underneath as a person. He shows that even the people that seem to have the most are the ones who have the least. Wealth and status is nothing without good character, and no matter how much you have, you can not fool people into believing you are a good person. Fitzgerald successfully portrayed the nature of man throughout all lifestyles.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1995. Print.