HEIII Period 11
29 May, 2019
Similarities in The Great Gatsby Characters
¨It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the
other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our
differences.” (Harry Truman) says Harry Truman, 33rd United States President. This quote is
food for thought, showing that understanding others can lead to a much greater relationship.
Once humans understand others, they really see how much they have in common. This concept
is elaborated on in the novel ¨The Great Gatsby¨, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The author poses the
question: are characters Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan truly that different? Readers can infer
that they are in many ways very similar; they both lie and have secret lives, they love the same
woman, and they are both very wealthy men.
Throughout the book, it becomes very evident that Tom is cheating on his wife, Daisy. At
the beginning of the book, Tom receives a call during a dinner with Daisy, the narrator, Nick
Carraway, and Miss. Jordan Baker. “...Miss Baker leaned forward unashamed…”You mean to
say you don’t know?...I thought everybody knew.”” “I don’t.” “Why--” she said hesitantly, “Tom’s
got some woman in New York… She might have the decency not to telephone him at dinner
time. Don’t you think?” (Fitzgerald 13) She is Tom’s little secret, he even goes as far as to visit
this woman, Myrtle Wilson, and brings Nick with him, saying “I want you to meet my girl.”
(Fitzgerald 20) They all go to a room filled with women, and later, Nick leaves to get cigarettes.
“When I came back they had disappeared…” (Fitzgerald 24) This leaves the mind to wonder
where Tom and Myrtle disappeared to, and what they were doing. Tom is keeping this secret
HEIII Period 11
29 May, 2019
from Daisy, saying he will change, but ultimately never does. Similarly, the character of Jay
Gatsby, or his real name--James Gatz lies as well, however, he is not having an affair, he is
hiding his true self. He is known as a wealthy man who throws extravagant parties in his home.
The question most of his attendees have is who is he and where did his wealth come from?
There is much speculation about Gatsby, such as, he was a German spy, a war hero, and even
that he killed a man. “I’ll tell you God’s truth” Gatsby says in a conversation with Nick, “I am the
son of some wealthy people in the Middle West--all dead now. I was brought up in America but
educated at Oxford, because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years. It is a
family tradition.” (Fitzgerald 54) Readers can conclude that he is lying when Nick asks the
question “What part of the Middle West?” to which he replies “San Francisco.” (Fitzgerald 55)
The truth about Gatsby is that, before the wealth, he was poor. He ran away from home and met
a very wealthy man named Dan Coney. He was a friend and mentor to Gatsby and contributed
to his journey...