The Great Gatsby as a Satire
Satire is an implement used by authors to point out a flaw of society or group of people in general. There are different levels of satire that the author can use. For example, the author may employ a type a formal satire known as Juvenalian satire. Here, the writer points out a subject with anger and contempt for it in a bitter fashion. There is also the contrasting form of Juvenalian satire called Horatian satire. Here, the writer points out a subject with a gentleness and jovial tenderness. The second main type of satire is informal. This is the type of satire used in The Great Gatsby. Here, Fitzgerald uses Nick to point out the character’s flaws and makes each person the butt of the witticism by what they themselves do. The supposed “guests” at all of Gatsby’s parties are prime examples of
satire in The Great Gatsby. Many people who attended the parties were never even invited. This disregard for propriety illustrates the crassness and thoughtlessness that seemed to run rampant among the rich and famous during the twenties. An example of carelessness is when a large group of people at one of the huge soirees, decides to continue the party in the massive, expensive fountain in Gatsby’s lawn. They just jump right in and begin to dance without concern for their health, much less concern for the well being of the fountain. After the galas had died down, most of the participants went home, leaving a monstrous mess and sometimes even their clothes or shoes.
Although Gatsby himself did not seem as dissolute as his guests, he did have flaws. On outward appearance, Jay Gatsby seemed to be a rich, well-rounded man who was always very poised and eloquent. But when turned inward, this confident man seemed very self-conscious and scared. He was scared that people would find out about his past and realize that he was not always the rich and graceful man that he now is. Throughout the...
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