Essay about The Ironic Title of The Great Gatsby

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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
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The title's teasing nature reflects a somewhat bleak outlook on life. We realize that no matter how hard a given person works in pursuit of his dreams, he can still be considered far from great. One of the most significant lines in the book is located at the very end. Here, Fitzgerald leaves the reader with a very profound, objective thought about the human condition that can be applied to anyone, including Gatsby: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."(189) This metaphor resonates as a bleak image of people struggling toward a goal, but unable to escape the pull of their innate character.

In considering the meaning behind the word, "great" as applied to Gatsby by Fitzgerald, it is important to ponder the likely motives of Nick Caraway, the narrator, as well as Fitzgerald himself. Having examined quotes from both these people, one would find it highly unlikely that they would candidly describe this man as "great", a word implying power and splendor. From the very beginning, we, as readers, see the light in which Nick views Gatsby and Gatsby's society.

"[Gatsby] represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn... what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men." (6)

Here, Nick exposes the reader to his contemptuous views of people like Gatsby and

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