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The Great Gatsby

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Fitzgerald uses irony to convey the audience that things are not always the way they seem. “Irony” is the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect ( In The Great Gatsby contains many different use of irony. For instance, the day that Gatsby, Tom, Nick, and Daisy all go into town, Daisy and Gatsby get got into an accident and killed Tom’s mistress, Myrtle. “’Wreck!’ said Tom. ‘That’s good. Wilson’ll have a little business at last’” (Fitzgerald 137). This shows dramatic irony because Tom does not yet know that his mistress, Myrtle, was kill in the accident. It is not until Tom pushes his way through the crowd of people that he sees that it was Myrtle who got hit and killed. Also, Tom does not yet know that Daisy is the one who was driving the car that killed Myrtle. Another way Fitzgerald uses dramatic irony is when Nick questions Gatsby on who was driving the car that hit Myrtle. Gatsby responses “’Well, I tried to swing the wheel: But Nick realizes the truth. “Was Daisy driving?” Nick asks ‘Yes,’ Gatsby responses. “But of course I’ll say I was” (143). The way this quote shows irony is because Gatsby knows that Tom has a violent side. So, if he was find out that Daisy was driving, he is afraid of what could happen to her. It is ironic because Gatsby does not realize that Daisy does not feel the same way that he feels for her.

Gatsby then takes Daisy home one night and waits outside with Nick until she goes to sleep. Gatsby states, “I want to wait here till Daisy goes to bed. Goodnight, old sport.” Nick observes “He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight-watching over nothing” (145).

It seems that everyone but Gatsby knows Daisy will never love him like he does to her. This shows irony because the reader knows that Daisy will never be with Gatsby the way he wants her to. The use of irony, in The Great Gatsby is used a countless number of times. Trask adds that “The final irony of the novel is that Fitzgerald could discern no beauty in the city to compare with the beauty, however, meretricious, inherent in Gatsby’s Platonic conception of himself” (Trask 3). Fitzgerald used all he could take advantage of showing irony.

The Great Gatsby uses satire its through characters. Sarcasm, irony, and humor in The Great Gatsby also make the novel more appealing to the readers. “F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is certainly more than an impression of the Jazz Age, more than a novel of manners. Serious critics have by no means settled upon what that “more” might be, but one hypothesis recurs quite regularly. It is the view that Fitzgerald was writing about the superannuation of traditional American belief, the obsolescence of accepted folklore (Trask 1).” This novel is a classic because of the truth it speaks during The Jazz Age and the use of satire, irony, and humor helps to make it successful. Fitzgerald has a gift in the Jazz Age in The Great Gatsby presents a picture of the world he sees around him.

Work Cited:

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.

Trask, David F. "A Note on Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby." University Review 33.3 (Mar. 1967): 197-202. Rpt. in


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