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How Does Nick Describe Tom Buchanan in Chapter 1?

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Nick, the book’s narrator, provides the audience with an uncharitable description of Tom Buchanan. The man is a wealthy acquaintance of his. He is noted to be arrogant, broad, and muscular, with an imposing build.

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Character descriptions are a large part of any book’s storytelling. They allow the author to describe and bring attention to their character’s most notable features. It also helps make the event seem more real. Fitzgerald tries to achieve it with a variety of descriptive techniques, one of which is the narration. Nick Carraway is the narrator and one of the notable characters of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Presented as the main point of view for the reader, he provides many descriptions of other characters.

One such person is Tom Buchanan, the husband of Daisy. Tom has an immense amount of wealth, inherited from his wealthy family. He is also an old acquaintance of the narrator, back from their college days. Nick describes the man as a brute, an imposing figure in appearance. Tom has “arrogant eyes” and an aggressively leaning stance. Nick knows the man from his early years and contrasts Tom’s images from the present and past.

Tom, as Nick sees him now, is a sturdy, straw-haired man with a hard mouth. The figure asserts dominance over others, exudes a sense of power. Nick also notes that he has a “body capable of enormous leverage – a cruel body.” He strikes the reader as a relentless, rash, and narrow-minded person. All of it forms a rather unpleasant first impression.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "How Does Nick Describe Tom Buchanan in Chapter 1?" June 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/how-does-nick-describe-tom-buchanan-in-chapter-1/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'How Does Nick Describe Tom Buchanan in Chapter 1'. 28 June.

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