Nicole NajjarMrs. Brunner & Mrs. Joachim 2017 December 11English IIColor Symbolism in The Great GatsbyThe author of The Great Gatsby, F.
Scott Fitzgerald, reveals the issues of money, happiness, and the unattainable which separated the privileged and unprivileged. Fitzgerald hints to the reader many times on the issues of money and how it can ultimately affect a character’s life. The main character of The Great Gatsby demonstrates the struggle of the 20s and how some things could be within arms reach but cannot be grasped.
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All throughout the novel, Jay Gatsby, struggles to keep, Daisy Buchanan, the woman he loves, happy enough. Due to separate money, Gatsby identifies as a man of “new money”, this makes it hard for Gatsby to meet his dream of reuniting with Daisy. The color green is used to show Gatsby’s dream and how he struggles to obtain the unobtainable.
Additionally, He hints poverty and hopelessness through the color gray. The author presents the color white to expose the true nature of Daisy Buchanan and the privileges of living in the west egg. Fitzgerald uses colors to symbolize the inequality between social classes of the 1920s, ultimately proving that money does not guarantee happiness.The color green is used by the author to represent that the reaching for something unattainable can lead to failure. Throughout the novel, Gatsby struggles to reach his American dream. In the past, Gatsby strongly feels as though Daisy doesn’t want to be with him because he wasn’t rich, so Gatsby began to seek wealth. The green light first appears at the end of the first chapter, as Nick walks in, Gatsby is reaching out towards the light. Furthermore, Nick explains to the reader that he “distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of the dock”(Fitzgerald, p.
21). In the eyes of Jay Gatsby, the green light represents Daisy, and although Daisy is close he is not able to truly make her happy because she is married. In addition, Gatsby trembles with the thought that he may not reach his dream and because he knows he cannot get Daisy fully because of her new husband, Tom Buchanan. Therefore, He believes the only way to capture her heart is to take care and do better than Tom has ever done. Fitzgerald shows that if you are not ultimately happy with what you have then you can never be happy, go on in life which ultimately leads to the destruction of Gatsby.The color white is used to symbolize the character Daisy and the privileges of old money. The color white first makes an appearance when Nick visits her in the East egg, she also wears white when she meets Gatsby. Furthermore, Fitzgerald portrays Daisy as a flawless and innocent girl of her time and without a doubt, she represents the color of white, indicating that underneath her beauty and her innocence lies a superficial, selfish, and a greedy heart.
Through the eyes of Gatsby, who is infatuated with her beauty, he does not come to realize her ruthlessness and selfishness. She struggles to find happiness, even when she reached out to Gatsby, who made money just for her and even sacrificed his life she showed no heartbreak or despair, which exposes her indifferent characterization. She also struggles to truly stay herself as her husband Tom has an affair with a mysterious woman. Since Daisy has lived in the life of luxury she desires nothing but perfection and fame, as shown in the novel she asks “what’ll they do with themselves this afternoon, and the day after that, and the next thirty years” (Fitzgerald p168). As demonstrated, she shows nothing but concern for her future. It is hard for her to truly display happiness when she has been unsatisfied for long. She struggles to find happiness, even when she reached out to Gatsby, who made money just for her and even sacrificed his life she showed no heartbreak or despair, which exposes her indifferent characterization. The innocent character, Daisy, illustrates the very meaning of superficiality.
She also struggles to truly stay herself as her husband Tom has an affair with a mysterious woman. Mrs. Buchanan demonstrates the hypocritical values of the Jazz Age.
The author, Fitzgerald, uses color gray to symbol hell on earth and to further demonstrate the struggles of the 1920s. The valley of ashes is a displeasing area between the East Egg and West Egg where everything is colored gray. Although George’s wife is bright and luminous her stay in the valley suffocates her ability to go beyond the gray. Myrtle believed that because she was with Tom, and because he has money, she would be ultimately happy. After the death of Myrtle, “Wilson’s glazed eyes turned out to the ashes, where small gray clouds took on fantastic shape” (Fitzgerald). This demonstrates Mr. Wilson’s Hate towards the killer in the yellow car. This displays how characters are swallowed in the gray darkness.
Myrtle’s death magnified her demeaning life in the 1920s and how many people did not care for her death as much as they did with Gatsby’s. Myrtle’s hope for Tom’s money leads her to believe that it would grant her happiness, ultimately leading to her untimely death.In the definitive analysis, to prove the inequality between the social classes of the 1920s and ultimately proving that money doesn’t guarantee happiness, Fitzgerald uses symbolism through colors.
Equally important, he used the color green to represent the reaching of something unattainable, which can conclusively lead to failure. Not to mention, he uses the color gray to illustrate hell on earth, poverty, and other issues of the 1920s. Lastly, Fitzgerald illustrates the privileges of old money and Daisy’s true intentions through the color white.
Ultimately, Fitzgerald proves to the reader that money itself cannot buy happiness and in doing so he demonstrates Daisy’s misery, he demonstrates Myrtle’s hopes and dreams and finally demonstrates Gatsby’s struggle to win the heart of the girl he loves the most. Through the use of all the colors, Fitzgerald pulls the issues of the 1920s into a single novel, ultimately bringing in the values, privileges, and struggles to display the lifestyle in the Jazz Age. If money cannot buy peace or friendship, what makes human emotions any different?