Topic: Economics › Trade

Last updated: February 20, 2019

Colors are an essential part of the world around us. They can convey messages, expressing that which words do not. Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas and qualities or to represent something abstract by an existing object. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, colors are used to symbolize a person’s inner thoughts and feelings. Colors, such as green and white are used to asset someone’s true feelings; while other colors are used to hide their true personality. Color is symbolized by conveying profound information to the readers and help us understand the characters true colors. Not only does Fitzgerald employ wealthy or uptown colors to highlight the imagery and fantasy within the reader’s mind but for first and foremost, he expresses color correlation with individual characters as an allusive way to demonstrate the inner qualities of their solitary names and actions.
White symbolizes a disguise; it is seen as the color of purity and innocence. Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker are seen wearing white and are coordinated with the color white. Wearing white, Daisy is seen as an innocent and youthful woman. Often enough it seems as though she uses this innocence as a way to act childish, irresponsibly and care-free. “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…” (Fitzgerald 187). Daisy lets everyone believe that she doesn’t know better than the way she is an act, when in reality she is hiding her true snobbish and conceited image inside this fairytale image that she portrays. Daisy knows what her actions mean, however, she acts carefree about it and knows that nothing can happen to her because her husband’s wealth protects her from being dislike. Fitzgerald intentionally places the color white in this area so that the reader can understand that white, a naturally innocent color is being placed beside the crazy, goofy, and nutty personality to show extraordinary conflict. White describes how Daisy covers up her true personality and becomes information to her preposterous disguise. Daisy’s white roadster reinforces the big idea that Daisy is see as pure on the outside, but yet on the inside she is holding on to secrets that are bigger and darker. White conceals Daisy’s lack of purity.
The color gold or yellow is considered to represent high class status and wealth or the desire for wealth and it also represents the old money of East Egg. Much like Daisy Buchanan the old money are bogus and misleading. Gatsby though is also bad beneath his character, showing that this also applies to the nouveau riche people, as they to are yellow inside. His gained his fortune through the drugs’ trade and crime, meaning there is nothing innocent about his fortune. This goes against the American Dream, as according to this money should be a reward for honesty and success. Daisy can be combination of gold and white which ultimately can derive from the physical sense of her name. White pedals show the sense of how much of an unadulterated woman she is on the outside. While still connected to the golden peduncle, the inner wealth-crazed materialistic woman. Silver is connected with gold because they compensate for anything worldwide, they are of value and desire to all. Which is why Daisy is associated with many colors, now you can tell why Daisy is so sought after by both Tom and Gatsby.
The Valley of Ashes is associated with the color grey or gloomy and is the lost of hope, dignity, and failure; George Wilson loses hope towards Myrtle and goes after a “failed” career and becomes stuck in The Valley of Ashes, Wilson is overwhelmed with grey sections to foreshadow the life of this helpless, irrevocable man. The Valley of Ashes is a small town between the West Egg and New York City. The valley of ashes is associated with a grey and gloomy color. This thin strip of land between west Egg and New York City is a long strip of desolate land created by the dumping of industrial ashes, representing the moral and social decay. Grey is used by fitzgerald to characterize the lower class that lives in Valley of Ashes. Which includes characters like George and Myrtle Wilson who cannot escape the grey haze of ashes of the desolate area that they are convicted to live in because they are not wealthy like the others in West and East Eggs. “Wilson’s glazed eyes turned out to the ashheaps, where the small clouds took on fantastic shapes and scurried here and there in the faint dawn wind” (Fitzgerald 159). Fitzgerald is trying to state that bring wealth and status is a pointless goal because it can come with atrocious consequences, like it does for the Wilsons. Not to mention the wealthy people that live in West Eggs are lonely and empty as the people in the Valley of Ashes, but they hide it under their silver mask.
Fitzgerald builds and outlines the world of color around the characters of the story, creates their different personas, behaviors, and their looks, he also clarifies the characters sentiments. The colors connect the reader to the novel by making them see and feel the actual events that have occured in the novel. Also it connects them to the emotions each character has and not only an imaginative image. Gatsby’s example, which is full of lines rich of color imagery, which makes the reader feel what Gatsby is feeling, senes what he sense and try to be what he is. Many characters are greatly shaped by these colors. Color shows how great The Great Gatsby was.

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