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 Nick the shirts he has tailored for him in London: He hauls them out in a rainbow of color and fabric, almost filling the room with the tangible yet useless symbols of his wealth. (Kellman 782)
Another prime example explaining how Gatsby thinks money can win over Daisy’s love. Daisy is born and raised into money so she has a clearer view on Gatsby’s wealth and does not buy into it. She understands the value of money in American society and Gatsby admits it when he states, “Her voice is full of money” (Fitzgerald 93). Ironically she is a more realistic, hard headed character and is not deceived by Gatsby’s games (Kellman 782). Gatsby’s lush parties are not the only example of irony that propels the plot forward. The death of Myrtle Wilson also presents an ironic twist.
Myrtle Wilson, the wife of George, and the lover of Tom Buchanan, is brutally murdered toward the end of the novel. After an uncivilized afternoon in New York, Daisy and Gatsby head swiftly back to East Egg. Gatsby explains to Nick, “It all happened in a minute, but it seemed to me that she wanted to speak to us, thought we were somebody she knew” (Fitzgerald 109). Myrtle ran out toward the car looking for Tom but sadly for her it is not him. Many know...