Irony, symbol, flashback, and foreshadowing are four commonly used devices; others have been utilized by inventive authors of modern literature.
Fitzgerald’s seminal work, The Great Gatsby, offers insights into the use of the literary device in combination with the expert development of plot, themes, characters, setting and other elements of the novel. The novel relies on various actions and comments of its characters as well as descriptions and symbols to convey the superficiality of its major players and the world they inhabit.
A good deal of the true genius of the novel lies in the character descriptions. For the most, they are not pleasant or for that matter very sympathetic. “The only bad of it is that the characters are mostly so unpleasant in themselves that the story becomes rather a bitter does before one has finished with it” (Wilson 149). But this is precisely what the author wanted to convey; he did not want to sugar coat his characters so that everyone would love and empathize with them. He wanted to present them as the type of people likely to use others and put wealth and superficial qualities above all else.
Critics have agreed that the work has universal meaning, not the least of which is a trenchant critique of materialist American society” (eNotes, para. 4). Haupt summarizes some devices used to convey the superficial lifestyle the author describes in his spot on review of the book. “Bootlegged gin, cigarettes placed into mouths following the clicking shut of their golden cases, gowns, suits, chauffeurs. Games, double meanings, illicit affairs, fortunes made in mysterious ways, drinking to drown an awkward moment or the quiet disappointment of your life” (para. 1). In short, the novel has a message told largely through devices that are symbolic. Through the superficial representation of life back then it forces the reader to assess their own values.
"Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce