The Great Gatsby is based on the relationship between Tom Buchman and Jay Gatsby. Both Tom and Gatsby are the central characters in the book and they are compared and contrasted throughout the book. The author has used the difference and similarities in the characters of Tom and Gatsby to develop different themes in the book. The similarities and differences in the two characters are evidenced in the way they relate with one another and with other characters in the book.
Tom and Gatsby are similar in different ways. They are both wealthy, want to posses Daisy, and they have a hostile feeling towards each other. They both strive to be financially successful and they seem to place themselves higher in the society (Bruccoli 62). They seem to adore their status in the society and in a way misuse it. Tom went to Yale, a prestigious school, and he is always showing off with expensive sport cars. In the same measure, Gatsby has an appetite for wealth. He leaves his janitorial job because he was humiliated and takes into organized crimes to earn more. Gatsby mainly strives to win Daisy and he even goes to an extent of using criminal activities to get wealth that will enable him to Daisy over Tom (Anderson). He loves Daisy to an extent that he does not fear taking blame for her when she murders Myrtle Wilson with a car. On the other hand, Tome uses his wealth and loud personality to win Daisy (Bruccoli 35). Therefore, both Tom and Gatsby use their financial muscles to win over daisy. However, while Tom has the wealth at his disposal, Gatsby does not have that wealth and uses criminal activities to be at par with Tom to make it possible to compete for Daisy. Another similarity between Tom and Daisy is their hostility and dislike for one another (Curnutt 106). They are both involved in a heated argument at the Plaza Hotel, an incident that shows their dislike for one another. It can be said that they both wash their dirty linen in public when they bring up their individual faults in public revealing it to their friends. More than once, they hurl insults at each other. For example, Tom says, “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife” (Fitzgerald 137). These are just a few of the similarities between the two.