Indirect characterization is when the author reveals knowledge about characters through their words, thoughts, actions and appearances. When reading a book or watching a movie you can usually interpret what type of character you are introduced to, based on the character behaviors, actions and reactions in different settings. It is very important to perceive the characters personalities’ and behaviors throughout the novel. This will help you understand the novel and each characters different meaning to contribute. Fitzgerald uses indirect characterization in The Great Gatsby to develop Toms characters in the novel.
In the Great Gatsby it is implied that Tom have a problem with races and societal fear of lesser races overcoming his white, nordic race. In the story Tom states it’s up to us (white people) , who are the dominant race, to watch out or they will have control of things (page 19). This statement informs the reader how racist Tom is, because he believes his race is somehow superior to others. An example of this is when he mentions in the story the idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be – will be utterly submerged. This quote shows us that Tom thinks the equality of other races is an attack on his race.
Another characterization of Tom’s character, is his unfaithfulness toward his wife, Daisy. Tom does not care about Daisy’s feelings or what she thinks about his infidelity. In Chapter 7 Tom states, And what’s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time. This proves that Tom is a cheater and he has no respect toward Daisy. The tone of his voice show how careless he is about Daisy’s feelings; he treats her as if cheating is okay. An example of this is when Tom and Daisy were at a restaurant and Tom did nothing but embarrass Daisy. The fact that he had [a mistress] was insisted upon wherever he was known. His acquaintances resents the fact that he turned up in popular restaurants with her and, leaving her at a table sauntered about, sharing with whomever he knew (Chapter 2). Here, it shows the audience that Tom has no regard for Daisy because he embarrass her by rubbing his mistress in her face.
Finally, Tom is arrogant. Whenever there’s a moment to use his arrogance; he behave as if he’s better than everyone else. A time when Tom utilizes his arrogance, is when Tom gives Nick a tour of his house and mentions how nice of a place he has. In Chapter 1 Tom states I’ve got a nice place here, this here shows the reader how much of a narcissistic personality Tom reveals. He compliments his own home as if he’s trying to prove how much money he has, when it is quite obvious that he’s wealthy. An example of this is when Tom states I’d be a damn fool to live anywhere else. This tells us that Tom thinks the East Egg is better than the West Egg because East Egg been had money, while the West Egg have to work for theirs.
In conclusion, Tom is an arrogant, racist, disloyal man who has no respect for women or anyone else.