The Great Gatsby

Chapter 7 questions

5. In this same scene in the hotel room, when Tom finds out about Daisy and Gatsby’s affair, he exclaims, “Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they’ll throw everything overboard . . . . “ Nick then comments upon Tom’s outburst: “Flushed with his impassioned gibberish he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.” Do these passages strike you as

ironic? What might they imply about Tom?

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Tom is like Mr. Playboy of East Egg. He waxes nostalgic about family institution yet cheats on his own wife with Myrtle. Also, there is nothing civilized about these folks from East Egg. They are all vacuous and deceivers couched in the respectability of money.