Tom Buchanan “in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch”, a very arrogant man, just by the way he stands we can assume he has “supercilious manners”, and a lot of power. His power could not be hidden “not even (with) the effeminate swank of his riding clothes”. This character is Daisy’s husband, Daisy is Nick’s second cousin. Tom lives in East Egg, he has an enormous old wealth. Nick is fascinated by the way “a man in my own generation was wealthy enough to do that. (“he’d brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest”)” . Definetly Tom does not make friends very easily, the first thing he said to Nick is “Now, don’t think my opinion on these matters is final (…) just because I’m stronger and more of a man than you are”, he is not a nice person and it depends a lot on the social status of the person. Tom is very sexist, as many men in the high class at that time were. “Well, you ought to see her. She’s – (Daisy), (…) What you doing, Nick(Tom)”, he does not let Daisy talk very much, and if she is in a middle of a conversation he just changes the subject and talks about other stuff leaving her out of the conversation. Also, Tom talks about the book “The Rise of the Coloured Empires”, which is “the idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be - will be utterly sumerged”, he is a very racist person and thinks this type of books are all “scientific proved”. Buchanan has a mistress in New York, and he does not carry this affair quietly, it is a relatively public affair. When Nick heard this, his first “instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.”, the way of thinking between the high society in the 1920’s and Nick, was very different. The others are very sexist, and do not see women as something very important.
Daisy Buchanan, Nick’s second cousin, when she saw Nick, she seemed to have a very effusive, gushing welcome “I’m p-paralyzed with happiness.” It was a very false welcoming. She has a very sad face and “lovely with bright things in it,(…)”, as if something is missing in her life and the only thing she does is pretend, act like a puppet, like playing a role. She tries hard to be shallow. Daisy thinks she has been made to entertain, she cannot stay one moment without doing something or talking. Daisy has no more themes of conversation and so, she starts talking about “the butler’s nose”, as if it was an important, relevant conversation. Daisy and Tom have a little girl, but Daisy does not know much about her, she spends more time in her social life, than with her daughter. When Nick asked her about the little girl she respond “I suppose she talks, and – eats, and everything”. And the first thing she said when the baby was born, was “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” Daisy is not a fool herself, but as a product of the society where she lives she pretends, and they do not value the intelligence in women. She somehow is saying that a girl can be happier if she is beautiful and simple, as she tries to be.
Jordan Baker, is a golfist, and a friend of the Buchanan’s. She is bored of the East Egg. And tries to cover her emptiness by the way she act’s, like Daisy, and being very glamorous. The Bachanan’s would like Nick to take a romantic interest with Jordan.
West Egg is where the “nouveau riches” live, where Nick and Gatsby live. Gatsby has a “colossal” mansion, an “imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy(..)(with) a marble swimming pool”. People in this side of the city represent: ostentation, garishness and the flashy manners of the new rich.
East Egg, is where people with old wealth live. This side represents: aristocracy, breeding, taste, and leisure.
Even though, East Egg and West Egg have both homes to fabulous wealth, and are separated by very little, they are opposite in values.
In conclusion, Fitzgerald uses; the power, sexism of Tom, the way he acts; the importance and admirance for Gatsby from Nick; the fear of Daisy of being herself, acting like she really is and; the way people act in the East and West Egg, to convey the weakness.
And he uses, the Buchanan’s marriage; Jordan’s surface glamour is used to cover her emptiness; and the way Daisy acts, the falseness of society, to pose the veneer.
In overall, he uses characters, and places to convey the veneer and weakness of the American Society in the 1920’s in the fist chapter of “The Great Gatsby”.