The Colors of Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's Famous Novel Essay

The Colors of Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's Famous Novel Essay

Length: 1634 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

F. Scott Fitzgerald is famous for the detail with which he crafted the quintessential American novel, The Great Gatsby. With his well-chosen words, Fitzgerald painted a fantastic portrait of life during the Roaring Twenties in the minds of his readers, a picture rich with color and excitement. Four colors: green, gold, white, and gray played key roles in the symbolic demonstration of ideas and feelings which, woven together seamlessly, made The Great Gatsby a world-renowned work of literary genius.
Some of the most well-known and intriguing symbolic imagery in The Great Gatsby comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of the color green. Fitzgerald used green primarily to represent two human traits in Gatsby: longing for things beyond one’s reach and hope for the future. The color green was first used symbolically as the character Nick Carraway returned from a party at the Buchanans’ house. He stopped before going into his home, seeing the mysterious Jay Gatsby in the distance. Carraway described Gatsby, saying, “…he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily, I glanced seaward – and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far way…” (Fitzgerald 20). As revealed later in the novel, Jay Gatsby bought his house on West Egg in order to be near the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, the dock of whose house projected the green light mentioned by Carraway. Although Gatsby was so close to Daisy, he was unable to rekindle their romance because of her husband. The green light served as the manifestation of Gatsby’s desires, strong enough for him to gaze upon, but far enough away to retain its heart-wrenching intangibility. Th...


... middle of paper ...


...26). Not only was the Valley of Ashes described as gray, but its people were as well. Fitzgerald fashioned George Wilson as a spiritless and demoralized lower-class American worker. He highlighted this lack of animation and vitality by describing Wilson as covered with the same stiflingly gray dust that carpeted the rest of the Valley. Fitzgerald used gray in this case to convey a feeling of lifelessness to the reader and deepen the symbolism of the Valley of Ashes. In contrast to his symbolic use of bright colors elsewhere in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald chose to illustrate with his words the Valley of Ashes and the people who lived there with the color gray, symbolizing the bleakness of the area and the depressing lack of hope that the people living there displayed.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

- ... After writing the articles and the musical club scripts, he was placed on academic probation for charging expenses to those who desired help. In 1917, he dropped out of Princeton and joined the U.S. Army. When he joined, he was afraid to die during the World War I because he felt unsuccessful with his novels and for not accomplishing his dreams. Before being called to duty, he wrote a novel, The Romantic Egonist, and sent it to a publishing company named Charles Sibners Sons, who rejected his work but advised him to continue writing....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1332 words (3.8 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay examples

- ... He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he 's got about improving his mind?” (182). The written resolution demonstrates how ambitious and innocent Gatsby was in pursuing his dreams and how much he wanted to improve himself that his father applauded him, which once characterized the process of pursuing the American Dream. While pursuing Daisy (Gatsby’s American Dream), Gatsby becomes corrupt and destroys himself. He did not achieve his fortune through honest hard work, but through dishonesty and illegal activities....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1167 words (3.3 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... This motivation allowed him to not give up and keep writing. Inspiration also came in the form of a young woman named Zelda. Even though both Fitzgerald and Zelda loved each other, Fitzgerald was poor and did not receive approval from Zelda’s parents. When he proposed to her in 1919, she sadly rejected him. However, Zelda eventually agreed to his marriage proposal when his newly written novel, The Side of Paradise, was accepted by publishers (Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald). The marriage between the Fitzgeralds began well but ultimately became turbulent....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Roaring Twenties]

Powerful Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

The Steinbeck 's ' The Rich And Famous ' Essay

- ... It was later found that Daisy was the one that hit Myrtle with her car which resulted in the death of Myrtle. It is ironic that Daisy was the one that killed her, since Myrtle was having an affair with her husband, Tom. This shows how the desire for a luxurious life and having the American dream, only caused destruction in this novel and destroyed someone life. The hope for happiness is something that Daisy hoped to have, but by finding out she married the wrong man changed who she is and her over outlook on life....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1349 words (3.9 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... Paul Academy when he was thirteen. Two years later when he was fifteen, his parents sent him to Newman School, a Catholic preparatory school New Jersey. A priest there by the name of name Father Sigourney Fay noticed Fitzgerald 's talent for writing and encouraged him to continue and develop his skill. In 1913, Fitzgerald graduated and chose to stay in New Jersey to further his literary writing development at Princeton University. His writing skills grew and excelled during his time there. He wrote scripts for the Triangle Club 's musicals which are very famous around Princeton....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1183 words (3.4 pages)

Essay The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

- ... He also went off to the military and became successful after investing in laundromats. F. Scott Fitzgerald also uses his ivy league background in his novel The Great Gatsby as well. Fitzgerald didn’t pass the entrance exam in Princeton University, but he was a good talker, and that made it possible for him to become a student. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby was a “Yale man”. Although he didn’t personally graduate from Princeton University, he was able to incorporate the ivy league names to show status in his novels....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1119 words (3.2 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... Fitzgerald said to his friends ‘Women are so weak, really- emotionally unstable- and their nerves, when strained, break… this is a man’s world. All wise women conform to the man’s lead.’ (Kerr 406). This view of women played a substantial role in the development of the characters in Gatsby. Women in Gatsby are portrayed as weak and while they have independence from their husbands, it is clear that when they are not dependent on their husbands, trouble always follows closely behind. For example, the instant Myrtle flees from her husband, she is obliterated by a car (Fitzgerald 137)....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
2494 words (7.1 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essays

- ... Nick describes “Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water staring tragically into my eyes” (Fitzgerald 86). Fitzgerald’s description of Gatsby as he stands in the pouring rain allows the reader to fully grasp the emotion and the tenseness of the scene. In a novel such as this one with images of ashes and extreme heat as bad imagery, rain also does imply a new opportunity for renewal and regrowth. In one of the very last scenes of the book comes Gatsby’s lonely funeral, where, it is again raining....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1070 words (3.1 pages)

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... Just before Tom and Daisy 's wedding day, Tom demonstrated his unending will-power to be flamboyant in addition to his lack of altruism “He came down with a hundred people in four private cars and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.” (Fitzgerald 82). Any wedding has always been and will always be about the bride, and Tom was unable to overcome his will-power to let Daisy solely shine just before her wedding....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1899 words (5.4 pages)

Essay about The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

- The Great American Dream In Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic novel, The Great Gatsby, everyone is chasing the American dream. This dream has been a beacon for immigrants and poor Americans alike. A shining beacon that draws dreamers and doers to the shores and big cities in America. The Statue of Liberty had a beaming message for everyone to hear. Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1770 words (5.1 pages)