Gatsby EssaysExcessive Behavior in The Great Gatsby
Excessive behavior is seldom a good thing. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a love story that takes place during the Roaring Twenties. Excess frequently leads to unhappiness. In this novel, Toms excessive behavior leads to the unhappiness of himself and other people.
Toms excessive wealth, carelessness, aggressiveness, and abusiveness lead to the death of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and Jay Gatsby, resulting in unhappiness for Tom as well as everyone involved.
Tom is excessively wealthy, careless, aggressive, and abusive.
Tom inherited a large amount of money from his relatives. The narrator, Nick, says, His family were enormously wealthy even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach (10). He has excessive wealth and put it to use for himself. He spent a year in France, for no particular reason, surely spending a great deal of money (10).
He lives among the white palaces of fashionable East Egg (10). East Egg is denoted as the place for those of more longer established wealth of the two egg-shaped peninsulas on Long Island Sound. Toms money helps feed his habit of carelessness. Nick describes this, saying, They were careless people, Tom and Daisy they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness of whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made (188). His carelessness manifests itself through his abusive relationships.
Aggression is his dominant feature, which can be seen when he walks, in his alert, aggressive way, his hands out a little from his body as if to fight off interference, his head moving sharply here and there, adapting itself to restless eyes (186). Nick considers him to be excessively aggressive when he believes that Tom implies superiority, adding the words to Toms speech mentally, just because Im stronger and more of a man than you are (11). Finally, Toms abusiveness dominates his life. This is a clear result of aggressiveness and carelessness.
Tom is married to Daisy, but hes got some woman in New York (19). His relationship with Daisy is unhealthy, and he ruins it himself by having affairs with other women, in particular Myrtle Wilson. Tom has the extreme characteristics of wealth, carelessness, aggressiveness, and abusiveness.
Toms extreme behavior leads to his own unhappiness. He is unhappily married as a result of his carelessness.
Catherine observes of Tom and Mrs. Wilson that, Neither of them can stand the person theyre married to (37). Such an awkward marriage is clearly not healthy. Tom alienates his wife with his excessive behavior.
Daisy, describing the birth of her child, says, Tom was God knows where (21). Discontent in his marriage is caused by his careless absence at his childs birth. At one of Gatsbys parties, Tom doesnt even stay with his wife. She accepts his infidelity, telling him, if you want to take down any addresses, heres my little gold pencil (112). Tom hurts himself by letting his relationship with his wife fall apart.
He also causes himself pain indirectly when Daisy kills his mistress, Myrtle Wilson in a car accident. Nick watches his reaction as tears were overflowing down his face (149). Tom suffered as a result of his abusive relationship. His pain can be connected with a symbol that is brought up in the story. A large billboard featuring two enormous eyes is equated with God, and Mr.
Wilson reflects on this, saying, You may fool me but you cant fool God (167). Toms misfortunes can all be attributed to his negative behaviorisms. Tom wreaks havoc on his life through his excessive behavior.