The Great Gatsby contains a love triangle between Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby. Initially, Daisy was in love with Gatsby, but she married Tom while he was away at war. Gatsby was left brokenhearted with a strong determination to win her back and prove that he was worthy of her. Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are vastly different people with two things in common; their money and, most importantly, their desire to have Daisy.
Tom Buchanan is described as having a strong and repugnant presence. He was a star athlete at Yale and is restless after his glory days of playing there, “…had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven-a national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterwards savours of anti-climax” (page 10). He is arrogant and seems to believe that he can have anything that he wants. Even though he has a wife and child, he has no problem with having a mistress on the side and does not care that others, including his wife, know about it. In addition, Tom is very self-absorbed and cares only about himself and his own desires. Tom was what Daisy’s family considered to be suitable for their daughter. That, along with his money, is mainly why she married him.
Jay Gatsby, originally named James Gatz, has a smaller presence than Tom and acts more like a child with a desire for approval. Gatsby is able to stay hidden at his parties and remains mysterious to his party guests. Gatsby grew up poor in North Dakota and reinvented himself into the person that Nick meets because he had never been satisfied with his life. Unlike Tom, Gatsby does everything with Daisy in mind. He built a gigantic mansion directly across from her house and threw extravagant parties hoping that she would attend them and see him again. He educated himself and earned money so that he would be worthy of being with her. Gatsby is stuck in his past with Daisy and continuously tries to get back to the way their relationship had been, “’Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!’” (116).
The main thing that Gatsby and Tom have in common is Daisy. Both of them want Daisy and do not want to lose her, but they have different...