Tom Buchanan is portrayed as an unpleasant character in the novel, taking pleasure in his high social standing and power. He is unfaithful to any moral code and his fear of the decline of civilization is ironic, as his arrogance and lack of concern for ethics are the cause of the decline. He is unable to explain his conservative views, as he is scared of the power of the wealthy, such as Gatsby, and of the potential political changes that may come with the increase of different races in society. Nick’s first impression of Tom is of a man with a ‘touch of paternal contempt’ in his voice and a tough attitude. Whenever he can, Tom takes the chance to demonstrate how much better he is than everyone else. His wealth and power are evident in his clothing and relaxed pose, which suggest a life of luxury and not of hard work. Nick is constantly aware of Tom’s habits and features that serve to maintain his status. In chapter 1, when Nick sees Tom for the first time, he is wearing riding clothes and standing with his legs apart on the porch, both of which are signs of his wealth and success.
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