The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby Essay

The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby Essay

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The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby

 
   Titling is a very important part of the fiction-writing process. It is important for authors to be careful in choosing their titles because the titles often can have great influence on certain aspects of the story. In the book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the title was formulated with the intention of heightening characterization through the use of irony. When readers start to read this novel, they immediately see a man who seems very glamorous and powerful while they have already been predisposed to seeing him in an alluring light due to the book's title. However, this perception of Gatsby is eventually completely transformed as Fitzgerald continuously divulges the flaws within Gatsby and his way of life. Having given his book the title, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald has created a level of irony that enhances Gatsby's character and serves as a basis of contrast between how Gatsby appears to an outsider and what he really is.

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald was very clever in choosing the word "great" in describing such a complex character as Jay Gatsby. It is clear that this word is being used facetiously as Fitzgerald continuously reveals more and more weakness within Gatsby. At first glance, Gatsby is portrayed as glamorous and magnificent. The reader himself learns to appreciate this man who is the classic example of an American hero- someone who has worked his way up the social and economic ladder. He is a man who has completely invented his own, new, inflated image. Throughout the novel, this glorified facade is slowly peeled away. Gatsby eventually gets killed in pursuit of romance with the beautiful, superficial socialite, Daisy Buchanan. Havi...


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...ed because there is a reflection of an even stronger idea of false glamour to add onto that revealed in the text. The irony of the title of this book is another thing that makes it so great and out of the ordinary. Fitzgerald was a pioneer in bringing to light the flaws within the American Dream. By writing The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald successfully revealed the typically overlooked downside to striving for perfection.

 

Work Cited

Bewley, Marius. "Scott Fitzgerald's Criticism of America." Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Great Gatsby.  Ed. Ernest Lockridge. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968. 37-53.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: Penguin Books, 1990.

Trilling, Lionel. "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Critical Essays on Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby." Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston: Hall, 1984. 13-20.

 

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