Symbolism And The Great Gatsby Essay Research

Symbolism And The Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper

The symbolism of colors in the novel

There a several colors used for symbolism in the novel “The Great Gatsby”.

For example the colors BLUE, GREEN, WHITE and YELLOW are used throughout the book.

The first time Nick Carraway meets his cousin Daisy Buchanan at Tom’s and Daisy’s home, she was dressed totally in white. So as the house

and its furnishings are also tuned in light shades. This fact might be interpreted as: beauty, cleanliness, wealth, innocence, virginity and also


Daisy’s color is white, she wears white dresses and recalls her “white girlhood”, and this use of color helps her to characterize her as the

unattainable “enchanted princess” who becomes incarnate as Gatsby’ s dream (p.21, l.8-9).

The use of a green light at the end of a landing stage to signal a romantic reunion, is intriguingly similar to the green light at the end of Daisy’s

Buchanan’ s dock, which becomes key image in “The Great Gatsby”. The initial appearance of the green light occurs when Carraway sees

Gatsby for the first time, standing in front of his mansion and stretching out his arms to ‘a single green light, minute and far away that might have

been the end of dock’ (p.22, l 31-33). The light has become, for Gatsby, the symbol of a reunion with Daisy. Green is very significantly

associated with both the green light and the “green breast of the new world”, uniting the hope and promise of Gatsby’ s dream with that of

America itself. The color green is traditionally associated with spring, hope and youth.

The color blue in “The Great Gatsby” represents hope for the future. It represents a lost time, a pure color that is overly displayed, a pure color in

the valley of ashes. T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes are blue, perhaps symbolizing a higher world from

which God looks down upon the scene. Tom’s car being blue may even represent the relationship between Tom and

Daisy, (being unhappy), based on money and not love. Blue also represents fantasy, and is a symbol of a different world.

As Gatsby’ s lawn is blue, his house is a place where people can go to get away from reality. His parties are out of touch with the real world, and

in an era of dreams and illusions.

The silver moonlight in this sentence is one of many examples of Fitzgerald’ s use of images of color. Silver and gold (or yellow), the colors of

wealth, recur again and again, associated especially with vulgar displays of prosperity. One of the most re-occurring and prominent symbols is

that of the colors yellow and white, especially in Daisy, East- and West Egg.

An egg is white is white (purity, innocence) on the outside, but yellow (corrupt) on the inside. So is Daisy.


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