Topic: Essays

Last updated: March 10, 2019

Throughout the novel The Great Gatsby there are several symbolic meanings of colours that Fitzgerald has incorporated. Specific colours in the novel contrast several different meanings and representations. Yellow is one colour in the book that Fitzgerald has incorporated for many reasons. The main representation of the colour yellow in the book is death. Death contrasted in yellow has been a main factor during the novel as in the end, basically the only yellow thing that has not been a part of death was Daisy.For example, George Wilson’s home in the valley of ashes is made of yellow brick and is the place where George and Myrtle live. Their house represents death in multiple ways as it was right outside of their house where tom and Daisy hit Myrtle and killed her. It was also the place where tom had told George that it was Gatsby’s car that had struck Myrtle, which resulted in him shooting Gatsby.

Also, Gatsby’s yellow car is symbolic of death as it hits Myrtle when she runs out into the road.Lastly, nearing the end of the novel when Gatsby is in his pool, and quote “the chauffeur asked him if he needed help, but he shook his head and in a moment disappeared among the yellowing trees”. The yellowing trees represent death because the colour was a sign of alert which Gatsby did not realise. Also, because just as the Chauffeur disappeared “among the yellowing trees”, so did Gatsby’s life when shortly after getting in the pool, he was shot by George and killed. Yellow today represents caution just like a street light which turns yellow, which indicates caution to slow down.In the novel Fitzgerald is indicating that money and wealth cannot solve your problems. Throughout the novel Tom, Daisy and Gatsby get themselves into a lot of issues and think that their money can resolve their problems as evident from the previous examples, it cannot.

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Another symbolic colour that Fitzgerald has incorporated is the colour gold. Gold represents wealth. Throughout the novel wealth has been represented in several different ways. As Gatsby lives in west egg, he represents new wealth, and as tom and daisy live in east egg, they represent old wealth.Gatsby wants to be rich with old wealth so he can win the affection of his true love, so he buys a yellow car. But daisy did not want to give up the life and money that tom had, Gatsby did not have old wealth. Jordan and Daisy are represented by gold throughout the novel as quote ” Jordan’s slender golden arm resting in mine” and “high in the white palace the king`s daughter, the golden girl”.

The golden girl is of course Daisy. New money, which Gatsby has, represents more of the colour yellow which is why Daisy will not get back together with him.


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