The Great Gatsby
Tom Buchanan Timeline and Summary
- We meet Tom in Chapter One, and learn through the narration that he went to Yale with Nick and they graduated in 1915.
- Tom introduces Nick to his mistress, Myrtle Wilson, and the three of them spend a day together in New York.
- Tom gets angry at Myrtle and hits her in the face, breaking her nose.
- It is revealed through Jordan’s story that Tom has a history of cheating on his wife, even as early as weeks after their honeymoon.
- When Tom meets Gatsby, he takes an immediate disliking to the man.
- Tom attends Gatsby’s party with his wife; he becomes suspicious and starts sniffing around trying to find out how Gatsby made all his money.
- Tom finally figures out that Gatsby and his wife are having an affair. He confronts them and challenges Gatsby’s claim on his wife.
- Tom gets Daisy to confess that she loved him, and he sends her off with Gatsby in contempt. He’s won that little battle.
- Driving home from the city after his confrontation with Gatsby, Tom and Nick and Jordan come upon the accident that killed Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Tom assumes that Gatsby is guilty.
- At home, Tom and Daisy conspire together to make sure Gatsby is the one who pays for the accident.
- When George Wilson comes around the day after his wife’s death to find out who was driving the car that killed her, Tom lets it slip (intentionally) that the car belongs to Gatsby.
- Tom and Daisy disappear.