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Great Gatsby Color Symbolism

Could the color of her clothing tell me about the type of personality that she has? At first, one may think that this is a stereotype, however at times it can be true. A person wearing a neon green shirt and purple pleather pants is probably more likely to be outgoing than someone wearing jeans and a white polo. In literature, colors are often purposefully chosen for different characters to represent the character’s personalities.

In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the colors green, yellow/gold, and gray are used to represent the attributes of the colored person or place. Apparently, green is the most prominently used color in the novel. The reason for this may be that green is the color used to describe the main character of the novel, Jay Gatsby. One of the possible meanings of green in this story is envy. Gatsby can be seen as an envious man for a few reasons. For one, he is extremely envious of Tom Buchanan because of the fact that he has the one thing he can’t buy, Daisy.

Also, Gatsby is extremely envious of the people that he invites to his house. He knows that he is not old money like the people he invites to his parties. This makes him a man of who, is “Green with envy. ” In like manner, green is also used to symbolize money. In the story, money controls the life of the people in the story. Gatsby feels that he needs green money to live and to impress Daisy. Symbols of Gatsby’s money included his large green lawn and the green ivy growing up his house.

Also, in his car, it depicts the passengers sitting “in a sort of green leather conservatory. ” All of these symbols depict Gatsby’s money. In contrast to green, yellow and gold are used to be an example of old money, unlike green that is used to depict the new money of gold. Tom could be seen as a gold person for he has old money. As green and gold contrast, so do Gatsby and Tom. A quotation of new money gold is “… Jordan’s slender golden arm resting on mine…” Gatsby desperately buys “….. ellow car,” in which he will attempt to be of old money, even though everyone knows that Gatsby is not of old money.

Gold and green are as much a contrast of new and old, but they do have a distant connection just as a new and an old car have the same connection. They may look different, but deep down, the two can be seen as the same item. Fitzgerald describes the Valley of Ashes as “… a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys… d ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud…. “(23) It is also noted that, “occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along…. “(23) The people who live in this gray city are hopeless and poor.

The gray surroundings symbolize the poor rode ahead that is existent without any life of color to come. The gray symbolizes a loss of hope. When the book describes Wilson with “an ashen dust veiled [Wilson’s] suit and his pale hair…. “(26) This shows that there is no hope for George Wilson. Also, gray can symbolize death.

The gray valley of ashes ties in very well with this concept when Myrtle dies in the ugly, hopeless town. In summary, color plays an important role on the content which is written in a novel. In The Great Gatsby, color is used as most of the symbolism in the book. Without color, the book would be without interest or meaning. If one thinks of no color in the book, what would the story symbolize? How could it be analyzed? Could people even have interest in it? Color is an important part of literature which is used often and will always be an element of a good novel.

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Home » Symbolism » Great Gatsby Color Symbolism

Great Gatsby Color Symbolism

The Hidden Story in Green and White Color symbolism is really popular in novels written during the 1920s. One such example is Scott Fitzgeralds novel The Great Gatsby. There is much color symbolism in this novel, but there are two main colors that stand out more than the others. The colors green and white influence the story greatly. Green shows many thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and choices that Gatsby has throughout the story. White represents the stereotypical faade that every character is hiding behind. The color green, as it is used in the novel, symbolizes different choices the character, Gatsby, can make during his life.

The green element in this novel is taken from the green light at the end of the dock near Daisys house. The color itself represents serenity, as in everything is perfect. This warns Gatsby that he should not pursue his dream for getting Daisy back, because his chance has passed and everything is as it should be. This is shown with Nicks insight, His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him (Pg. 189) Another symbolization of the color green, which contradicts the first, is the meaning go.

As in a traffic light signal, most people associate green with the word and action go. This can be interpreted as meaning Gatsby should go for his dream without hesitation. It implies that Gatsby and Daisy are meant to be together and nothing should stop Gatsby from his destined happiness and love with Daisy. It inspires hope for Gatsby that he is on the right path, heading towards the best years of his life. He believes that things will soon be as they once were, only better. Im going to fix everything just the way they were before, he said nodding determinedly. Shell see.

The last symbolization the color green has in this novel is an urge to strive ahead in life, to do better in life and succeed. Gatsby changes his entire persona for a better, more sociable, image and status. He is constantly striving to be a more successful figure in society. Ever since he was a boy he put himself on a schedule with hopes for becoming a highly respected, well-known person. He knew he had a big future in front of him. (Pg. 181), his dad says about him. Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this(Pg. 182). White is the other color symbolism interlaced into this novel.

Where green only influenced one character, white has a wider range of influence on the characters. This color symbolizes one thing, a faade, but it appears in every character. For example, Daisy is always seen wearing white, which gives her and innocent naive appearance. It is as though she uses that as an excuse for when she does something ridiculous or childish, making it seem like she does not know any better. In reality, she knows exactly what she does but just doesnt care. She uses this little princess image and her money to hide her biased, snobbish, and conceited view of herself and her lifestyle.

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together(Pg. 187-188). Another character that hides behind the white symbolic faade is Jordan Baker. She also wears white quite often. She acts as though she is superior to everyone around her. Her posture, her attitude, and even the things she says imply this arrogance. She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless and with her chin raised a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall.

If she saw me she me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it-indeed I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in. (Pg. 13). She portrays a bored and apathetic attitude about everything, which is part of her I am too good for you appearance. In reality, she just wants to be as respected and socially accepted as Gatsby. She is not willing to take responsibility for her actions and uses her image as a guard implying that she could not have possibly done anything immoral, much like Daisy. However, She was incurably dishonest.

She wasnt able to endure being at a disadvantage, and given this unwillingness I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep the cool insolent smile turned towards the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard jaunty body. (Pg. 63). Color symbolism is not very noticeable, yet it can tell a great deal about a story. In this case, the colors give the reader a look at the characters choices and the paths he or she could have chosen compared to the ones the character chose, which adds dimension to the story.

The green the different choices Gatsby can make, whether it serves as a warning, an inspiration, or an urge to get ahead. The white symbolizes a mask, or a faade. It allows the characters to portray themselves as a whole other person and hide who they really are. This puts a piece of reality into the story, as everyone wears a white mask of some kind to hide his or her true self from the world. It is the unsubtle clues given to the reader that are fascinating and allow a person to relate to the characters.

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