Compare and Contrast Essay on “The Great Gatsby”

Compare and Contrast Essay on “The Great Gatsby”
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F. Scott Fitzgerald is the of the book the Great Gatsby, which he wrote in 1925 which follows a cast of characters where the main character is Jay Gatsby. The great Gatsby story shows the success story of the protagonist that can be described as incredible (Fitzgerald, 50). Jay Gatsby came from a humble background of unsuccessful farmers and, therefore, he started his life with so little in his hands. However, as years progressed, he had the chance to reinvent himself. And the first thing that he did was to change his name from Jimmy Gatz to Jay Gatsby. This was a measure to detach himself from his miserable past to a better future. Along the course of life, Jay fell in love with one lovely lady Daisy Buchanan (Fitzgerald, P. 37). And at the time, he had no money that could increase the chances of winning Daisy. He swore never again to lack money (Fitzgerald, P. 54). His extraordinary optimism made him a millionaire giving him the power to transform the dreams he had.

As the story unfolds, Jay meets Dan Cody, who introduces him to the leisure class. One feature of the protagonist that the author portrays in this book is that he despised poverty. This is shown by Jay’s withdrawal from college as he could not withstand janitorial jobs that supported his college education. The author continues to show how Jay despite being rich made attempts to win the love of Daisy Buchanan. One of the efforts made by Jay is throwing lavish parties on Long Island every Saturday night hoping she would show up. This was at the time when The New York Times had noted gin as the national drink as sex as the national obsession.

Similarities of Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby

Both of these characters are described to have been rich where Tom was immensely rich and a member a social club at Yale. On the other hand, Jay acquired his wealth through his hard work although via organized criminal activities. The love that Jay had for Daisy is what motivated him to amass more wealth. The reason being since Daisy was a socialite who had the need to be loved. Money was the object that would so easily win her (Fitzgerald, 52). Tom being wealthy bought a very expensive necklace for Daisy and fortunately enough for him, this made him win Daisy.
Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are seen to be persuasive. In an attempt to convince Daisy to marry Jay, he lies to her about his background to see if she could easily be won. On the other hand, Tom buys Daisy an expensive necklace that essentially was good enough to make her be his wife.

Both of these characters were motivated individuals. Jay in his way is motivated to become an affluent individual as well as get loved by Daisy (Fitzgerald, 45). His high level of motivation is what made him become a very wealthy person. Tom, on the other hand, through his self-motivation strives to get Daisy love that he succeeds in getting. Although she ends up being married to a wealthy man Tom Buchanan.

Jay and Tom were hard working in their ways. Gatsby worked tirelessly to see to it that he never lacked money. His hard work was motivated by his personal quest to win Daisy Buchanan, who was the object of his affection. Daisy being a socialite means there was competition to win her love, and Tom worked to win her and even bought her an expensive necklace to persuade her.

Differences between Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby

Jay Gatsby is portrayed as a kind hearted and good hearted man while Tom comes out as a cold-hearted man. For instance, Jay is kind enough to throw expensive parties every Saturday night where he hosts different people. Tom is violent to his wife Daisy who ends up not enjoying the marriage that she is in.
Tom having come from a wealthy family is a bully, and he does not live up to the social standards. Being of the affluent society, he is arrogant and filled with notions of racism as well as sexism. On the other hand, Jay is a humble individual who found his way up to the elite in the society (Fitzgerald, 36). For instance, despite throwing expensive parties, Jay makes sure that he as the host stays anonymous.

Jay Gatsby is portrayed as a loyal person in the sense that his quest to win Daisy’s love does not change even after he found out that she ended up being married to Tom Buchanan. He does not reduce his efforts to see to it that, he is in a position to see and meet her. Tom, on the other hand, is disloyal as he cheats on his wife with another lady, Myrtle.

Jay Gatsby is seen to be a passionate person at the beginning of the story although he ends up losing his love to one Tom Buchanan. This is further seen by his increased efforts to increase his wealth and the lavish parties he threw all in an attempt to win Daisy. Tom is not as passionate as Jay, and he is rather a show-off. He marries Daisy, who was a socialite of the then times in order to protect his image as an individual of the elite social class.


In conclusion, both Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby seem to share some characters although they are different in quite a number of ways. Tom is arrogant while Gatsby comes out as a calm person who is highly motivated. Tom being powerful and from an old solidly built family is arrogant, and his social attributes are not attractive. For instance, he is a racist.

Work Cited
Fitzgerald, F S, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.