Colors can accentuate the meanings of a story and explain certain actions of a character. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald applies many important colors that allude to the personality of his characters. The colors given are repeated multiple times so that they can be established. To fully understand the characters of the story, one must recognize the associated colors that are given.
Green is the color of “healing, money, prosperity, greed, luck, and fertility”(Nadia Davis). This color is closely associated with the green light at the end of the dock. “and distinguished nothing except a single green light/…might have been the end of a dock”(24), Fitzgerald symbolized the green light as the key to reaching Daisy. While on the beach, Gatsby is stretching out his arms to the light as if he will acquire it somehow. This green light represents money and prosperity, which Gatsby has obtained over the years in order to finally reunite with Daisy.
Another important color in The Great Gatsby is the color black. Black symbolizes “Absorption of negativity and the destruction of negativity”(N. Davis). Gray is mostly related to the Valley of Ashes and Wilson. The black atmosphere surrounding it represents the hopelessness of their insolvent situation. “This is the valley of ashes…/where ashes take the forms of ashes and chimneys and rising smoke”(27), the ashes represent the black and how it puts a negative burden on Wilson and restricts him from future success.
Gold also has an important meaning in the story. Gold symbolizes “God, healing, money power, and wildlife”(N. Davis). Tom is the most relevant character to gold. In relation with money, gold is represented as old wealth. Tom has always had this “old wealth” in his possession, and it is what attracted Daisy to him. In order to win back Daisy, Gatsby also tries to portray himself as having old wealth, even though he only has new money. These actions are shown through some of Gatsby’s possessions, “here’s my little golden pencil”(111). Fitzgerald depicts how Gatsby reveals little hints of having old money in order to impress Daisy.
The colors in The Great Gatsby reveal the true intentions of the characters. Fitzgerald alludes to the colors repeatedly throughout the story to put emphasis on each characters personality. This unique symbolism demonstrates how much time Fitzgerald put into writing The Great Gatsby and making it understandable to the reader.