Throughout the novel, The Great Gatsby, it was evident that Tom and Daisy had an unstable relationship. Both Tom and Daisy come from wealthy backgrounds and the upper echelon of society. Tom is a small man hiding in a big hose with an equally large ego. Daisy is a hospitable character who is forever in love with having a rich and lavish lifestyle. Though big, strong, and arrogant, Tom still shows that he cares a little bit for Daisy.
Tom and Daisy's main commonality is money. Daisy did not marry Gatsby even though they were in love because he was poor (82). She and Tom were in love at one point as well but he had the money to provide her with the lifestyle she was accustomed to. Daisy is very selfish and materialistic. When Jay Gatsby invites Daisy and Nick over to his house he shows them all of his expensive shirts.
When Daisy sees them she starts crying and says, "They're such beautiful shirts. It makes me sad because I've never seen such beautiful shirts before" (98). Someone who cries because of nice materialistic goods is very superficial and that is definitely Daisy's nature. Tom and Daisy are similar in this way because Tom is very concerned with his image. Enough to try to uncover the history and truth about his wife's lover, Gatsby, and openly embarrass him for it (141). Tom is so desperately an empty man that he believes he can define himself with exterior belongings. He is trying to find his identity by looking for happiness in nice cars money and a good woman even though it he has to cheat on his wife to do so. To look even richer, he tells Wilson that the yellow car that he is borrowing is his when it is actually Gatsby's (130). Both Tom and Daisy have similar characteristics and attitudes towards money. Nick points this out when he says, "retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together…" (188). Tom and Daisy were not only concerned with the money, but everything that went along with being wealthy. Both of them do not have respect for anyone below their status.
Despite having these commonalities, Tom and Daisy were never truly happy. Tom gave Daisy pearls worth three hundred and fifty thousand dollars before they were married and brought down 100s of people in private cars. When Daisy and Tom were just about to get married, a half-hour beforehand, Daisy had a breakdown and did not want to go through with it. Jordan Baker says, "I was scared, I can tell you; I'd never seen a girl like that before" (81). Daisy then said that she wanted to change her mind about the wedding. She was so sad after receiving a letter from Gatsby. She reluctantly ended up marrying Tom because she knew he could provide for her. There was no use waiting around for Gatsby as he was poor and had gone to the war. Tom never loved Daisy even though he tries to say so numerous times. When they went to Santa Barbra after the wedding, Jordan was there and saw that Daisy was extremely upset. Tom had gotten in an accident and the woman he was driving was injured. This made it to the paper and Daisy found out (82). This shows Tom's lack of faithfulness and this would not be the only time. He also had an affair with Myrtle Wilson. Tom was not very secretive about this and Daisy knew. Tom even took a phone call from Myrtle when Daisy, Nick and Jordan were all having dinner (20). Daisy did not want to leave Tom and the lavish lifestyle he provided for her even though she could have. Daisy also shows a lack of disregard for Tom's feelings when she told him that she never loved him (139). She hoped her daughter would be a fool of a girl so nothing would hurt her, a lesson she learned from living with Tom (21).
Tom and Daisy's common denominator was money and an upper class position in society. Both of them are very selfish and show a complete disregard for the feelings of not only other people, but for each other as well. They were not in love with each other. They were in love with the idea of what their marriage represented.
Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribners, 1925; New York: Cambridge UP, 1991. Novel.