The Great Gatsby

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He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body-he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing, and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body capable of enormous leverage-a cruel body.

His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he liked-and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts.

look at how Fitzgerald selects details

-what does he choose to describe

-is there a certain order to his description?

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Fitzgerald personifies Tom's personality in terms of his physicality. This description is meant to show how Tom has aged over time. He's different than Nick remembers, hardened and capable of cruelty. Tom's "shining arrogant eyes" are the first trait that Fitzgerald uses to show how money and power have shaped Tom into the repulsive person he has become. The description moves across Tom's body turning physical traits into objects of unfeeling cruelty and menace.