Colors In The Great Gatsby

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Upon first impression, one might believe Jay Gatsby is nothing more than a self-satisfied, well-to-do bachelor living in luxury in West Egg. However, as his story unfolds, the reader finds out that he is an industrious man and a hopeless dreamer. The quintessential colors of yellow, green, and blue are used by F. Scott Fitzgerald to describe Gatsby’s characteristics in his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby. Yellow, an incandescent color, stands for his vivacious outward disposition, the shallow people around him, and his seemingly self-indulgent spending habits, for which he has an ulterior motive. Green represents the extreme lifestyle changes Gatsby has made in adulthood and his staunch hopefulness in finding love. Blue is a symbol of the …show more content…

Soon after Gatsby befriended Dan Cody, Cody bought him a blue coat (Fitzgerald 100). Gatsby was his personal assistant, a young, poor man working on a grand yacht. He wore blue when he had meager finances, but as soon as he made his money, he switched to more grandiose colors. The chauffeur wore robin’s-egg blue when he went to invite Nick to Gatsby’s party (Fitzgerald 41). This illustrates that the man is a blue-collar worker; Gatsby is superior to him. Once Gatsby became prosperous, he never wore blue again, suggesting that he would like to negate his previous lower class status. From this characterization, the reader can infer how much pride Gatsby has in his financial state and how utterly he wants to throw off his old identity of destitution. In other ways, blue stood for Gatsby’s dedication to becoming an elite, well-mannered man, his attempt to avoid being discomfited by his social ineptitudes. He buys a party guest an expensive, gas blue evening gown after she negligently rips one of hers at a prior party (Fitzgerald 43). He had no obligation to do so; he just thought it was the polite, correct response to her peccadillo. Gatsby tries in earnest to conform with social norms of the upper crust in fear that someone will denigrate him. In this case, his edification has lead him to believe that it was merely proper etiquette to replace the gown and that it would prevent any pejoratives from coming his way. It is doubtful that Fitzgerald solely wanted to make Gatsby appear generous; he also had to show how eagerly Gatsby endeavored to integrate with high society. Gatsby’s motives can indirectly be linked back to his obsession with Daisy since he works so hard to be elegant in hopes of winning her favor. Nick candidly elaborates on Gatsby’s rise, saying, “He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it” (Fitzgerald 180). Nick did

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