The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald. A juxtapositon of George Wilson and Tom Buchanan.

Essay by falkorlove February 2004

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By comparing and contrasting George Wilson and Tom Buchanan we discover several new insights due the juxtaposition. From the initial entrance of George Wilson in the book we can see that he is a weak man in the way his character is depicted. He is described as, "spiritless and anaemic...who mingled with the cement walls" (30). His presence is so insignificant in the beginning that he does not even stand out against the background of his own home. Tom, on the other hand, seems more aggressive the first time he is ever seen. Nick refers to Tom as having, "... a hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining, arrogant eyes... gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward" (12). The difference between the two men is visible. On one hand we have Tom who is a strong man while George seems as if he could be knocked over easily by the wind.

However, Fitzgerald later demonstrates that these two men are not as different as we think. This is more noticeable later on when Tom is not as powerful as we think. For example, tells everyone they they are going to town, but noone moves(even when Tom is getting aggravated) until Daisy's voice gets everyone to their feet. Also, he once again makes himself seem foolish by trying to get science on his side to prove his point. After he has found out that Daisy is with Gatsby he says, "I have a--almost a second sight, sometimes, that tells me what to do. Maybe you don't believe that, but science" (128). It seems rather silly that he says a second sight about what is going on between Daisy and Gatsby since he already knows it so, he does not have to rely on feelings or suspicions to find...