First introduced as a young boy at Hailsham with a bad temper, gets tricks played on him by the other children because they want to get a reaction out of him. He starts out having bad temper tantrums when he gets picked on, until Miss Lucy tells him something that changes his life for the better for a period of time: it is okay if he’s not creative. He feels great relief. Miss Lucy tells him that she shouldn’t have said what she did, and Tommy goes through another transformation, once again feeling fundamentally upset by his lack of artistic skills. He becomes a quiet and sad teenager. As he matures, Tommy becomes a young man who is calm and thoughtful.

Tommy is Kathy’s close childhood friend, for whom she also harbors romantic feelings. At Hailsham, Tommy becomes an outcast among his peers because, unlike them, he lacks artistic ability. He develops a violent temper, often throwing tantrums in response to teasing from his peers. Tommy remains anxious and self-conscious about his artistic abilities as a young adult, initially keeping his artwork a secret at the Cottages. However, he also begins to derive pride and personal satisfaction from drawing. His compelling imaginary animals resist interpretation, reflecting the deep humanity and complex individuality of the clones themselves.

Tommy is in many ways more straightforward than Kathy and Ruth, often missing the subtle digs and sarcasm that they shoot back and forth. While Kathy often knowingly defends Ruth’s pretenses in front of others, Tommy usually expresses his confusion or doubt aloud. He also lacks the kind of emotional restraint that Kathy and Ruth exhibit. While Kathy and Ruth tend to express their angers and frustrations indirectly, Tommy is prone to violent temper tantrums. Yet Tommy also has very different relationships with Ruth and Kathy. He maintains a longstanding but difficult romantic relationship with Ruth, who at times belittles and ignores him. Meanwhile, he bonds with Kathy over their mutual desire to discover the truth about Hailsham. Tommy tends to trust Kathy with his biggest secrets, including his odd conversations with Miss Lucy. In his theorizing with Kathy, Tommy also shows an observant and reflective side to his personality that mirrors her own.