Irony of The Great Gatsby

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Many authors use irony as a way of questioning the reader or emphasizing a central idea. A literary device, such as irony, can only be made simple with the help of examples. Irony can help a reader to better understand certain parts of a novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald helps the reader to recognize and understand his use of irony by giving key examples throughout The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald uses Gatsby’s lush parties, Myrtle’s death, Gatsby’s death, and the title of the novel to demonstrate how irony plays a key role in the development of the plot. Gatsby displays his new money by throwing large, extravagant parties. The old money establishment of East Egg think Gatsby does this to show off his new money, but his motif is different. Jordan states, “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties” (Fitzgerald 64). This shows that even Daisy’s friends know what the parties are centered around. Gatsby waits for Daisy to walk in one night, wanting her to see everything he has become, but she never does. He does it all for her: the money, the house, the cars, the criminal activities, everything. It takes Gatsby finding Daisy, to get her there. Gatsby tells Nick in a panic, “She didn’t like it,” he insisted. “She didn’t have a good time” (Fitzgerald 87). Ironically, Daisy does not enjoy the parties as much as Gatsby wants her too. She loves his new found wealth, but that still is not enough for her. Gatsby’s lack of understanding concerning the attraction of his money is described as follows: As a romantic, Jay Gatsby does not understand how money actually works in American life. He believes that if he is rich, then Daisy can be his. This is displayed most powerfully and poignantly in the scene where Gatsby shows Daisy and ... ... middle of paper ... ...e from Gatsby is what ultimately gets him murdered. There is much more to the novel than irony: lost hope, the corruption of innocence by money, and the impossibility of recapturing the past, are important essentials to the story. Fitzgerald uses those elements to combine the story with the American lifestyle. The multiple examples of irony throughout the novel help with the development of the successful plot. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Heims, Neil. "CRITICAL CONTEXTS: Paradox, Ambiguity, and the Challenge to Judgment in The Great Gatsby and Daisy Miller." Critical Insights: The Great Gatsby 2010: 58-71. Kellman, Steven. ed. Magill's Survey of American Literature. California: Salem Press, Inc., 2007. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Great Gatsby.” SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

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