Colors and Symbolism in "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Symbolism is the use of symbols to supply things with a representative meaning or to represent something abstract by an existing object. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, colours are used to symbolize a person’s inner thoughts and feelings. Colours, such as green, white are used to find ones true feelings; while others use colours to hide their true persona. Colour symbolism is used to convey a deeper message to the readers and help us understand the characters true colours.

The color green in the novel The Great Gatsby symbolizes different choices Jay Gatsby makes throughout his lifetime. The symbolism that is used behind the colour green is healing, money, greed, luck, and hope. The green light at the end of the dock near Daisy’s house represents his pursuit of happiness with Daisy Buchanan. “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 away, that might have been the end of a dock.” (Fitzgerald 26). Gatsby should not chase after his dream of getting Daisy Buchanan back into his life due to the fact that she is now married to Tom and has a daughter with him. She has moved on with her life and that should be a sign for Gatsby to move on as well. To Nick the situation of Gatsby trying to pursue his dream of Daisy is seen as, “…His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him…” (Fitzgerald 189). Gatsby was once so close to his goal in life and yet so far at the same time. Green also symbolizes struggle; Gatsby’s overall goal to do better and strive be...

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...he changes constantly, somewhat like a chameleon to impress the people around her and gain grandeur when she needs it, and claims whatever she can get without being feeling the smallest bit of guilt within the lies and cheating.

To conclude, colours are a way characters express what they want to be seen as. We see one character acting the way they put themselves out in society, however each person has a deeper meaning for how they are acting, just like a colour. Colour symbolism is used to give us, the readers, a deeper understanding of the characters in the novel. Green and white are used to enhance ones deeper thoughts and feelings; while others use colours to hide their true colours to camouflage into different crowds. We see a colour for what it is; nevertheless each colour has a deeper meaning behind it, just like each character in the novel The Great Gatsby.
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