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In his novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, Fitzgerald demonstrated the differences between Tom Buchanan and George Wilson. As Tom is portrayed as the antagonist of this novel, it is shown how George can be seen as an antagonist as well. Through these acts of cruelty and avarice, Buchanan and Wilson both show a comparison of selfishness. They also are completely different people because of their social class, the way they express anger, and their attitudes towards women. Fitzgerald determines that the nature of man is shown through the barbarous acts of the selfish essence of these characters through the perspective of Nick Carraway.

Wilson and Buchanan both demonstrate their attitudes towards women as to how they treat Myrtle in different ways. From the start of the novel, it is shown how Tom treats women with complete disrespect and very poorly, especially since it is clear to the readers that his character is sexist. As Myrtle repeatedly decides to say Daisy’s name aloud, Tom uses violence to shut her up. The narrator states, “Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand” (Fitzgerald, 37). This proves that it is shown how George treated his wife with complete respect for how he knew Myrtle was having an affair but still decided to stay with her because of his love and affection towards her, which differs from the way Tom treats Myrtle. Especially after Myrtle’s death, Wilson decides to avenge her death by becoming a complete psychopath and committing murder himself.

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The author shows how George and Tom are one of the only two characters that for them to express their anger, they use violence. Tom breaks Myrtle’s nose as she repeatedly mentions Daisy’s name, while on the other hand, George uses violence to murder Gatsby and himself. The narrator states, “It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete” (Fitzgerald, 173). This quote proves that Wilson not only used violence on another person but also himself because he couldn’t live with the fact that Myrtle was now gone. There is a difference in the social classes the lower and higher, whereas the high-class people can commit a crime and easily get away with it, while the lower class will have the result for their actions. Tom can easily get away with committing a crime, whereas Wilson can easily get into trouble for his behavior.

George and Tom both prove a difference in the way their reactions are shown when they realize they are being cuckolded. Tom is seen as a hypocrite with his secret affair with Myrtle as he finds out about Daisy’s relationship with Gatsby. From Tom’s perspective, it is okay for him to have an affair with his wife, but the second he finds out about Daisy’s new affair, he becomes enraged. When Wilson finds out about Myrtle’s secret affair which he does not know is Tom, he decides to lock her up and go away with her because he still loves and cares for her. Myrtle’s sister Catherine states, “Neither of them can stand the person they’re married to. What I say is, why go on living with them if they can’t stand them? If I was them I’d get a divorce and get married to each other right away” (Fitzgerald, 34). This quote proves that neither Tom nor Myrtle can stand the person they are married to and clearly should have just married each other, but there are many reasons why they cannot be together.

Ultimately, the act of cruelty is shown in these characters as Tom Buchanan is portrayed as the bully while George Wilson is seen as being bullied. Myrtle is the main comparison between these characters that shows the differences in the way they treat her and how they respect her. It is shown how Wilson and Tom are the only characters to ever use violence, proving that they are more alike than different. Although their reactions to being cuckolded, their difference in violence, and their attitudes towards women are completely different from one another, they both express each one of these things, which other characters in this novel do not. This just proves how Tom is the bully while Wilson is the one being bullied with their different reactions to these certain situations.

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