Colors in the Great Gatsby

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Colors in the Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby was written in a time in which values no longer played an important role among the population. The “Roaring Twenties” were shaped by the post-war generation and especially by the newly rich and wannabe famous, whose life circled around parties, money and affairs. Fitzgerald manages to draw the reader’s attention to significant details and symbols in the text. Therefore, symbolism plays a major role in The Great Gatsby. The most prominent colors that can be found throughout the novel are green, white, gray, blue and yellow. Fitzgerald uses different colors to symbolize larger themes expressed throughout the novel. Yellow and gold are used to symbolize money. Instead of green, Fitzgerald uses yellow to symbolize money because he wants to exemplify the fact this money is real, it is authentic, traditional, old money. At Gatsby’s party his cocktail music is described as yellow and the turkey dark gold. Jordan and Nick sit with two girls in yellow. Gatsby throws his parties to try to fit in with the old money crowd. His façade does not just stop at his parties, when he is seeing Daisy for the first time he wears a gold tie. Gatsby also owns a yellow car. Yellow is not just the color of money, but also of destruction. Yellow is the color of the car that runs down Myrtle. The glasses of T.J. Eckleburg, looking over the wasteland of America, are yellow. This dual symbolism clearly associates money with destruction; the heaps of ash are the filthy result of the decadent lifestyle led by the rich. Back before Daisy was married, her car was white. So are her clothes, the rooms of her house, and she is often described as white. White symbolizes innocence and femininity. At the beginning of the novel when Tom first sees Daisy and Jordan, everything about them is described as white and angelic.

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