Symbolism of White and Green in The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby is full of symbolism, colors, for example. Throughout the book the author uses them to represent different themes of the novel. Some of these colors are white, yellow, grey, green, pink, red and blue. However, I picked white and green for my commentary because I think these colors have a special meaning different from the others. White is mainly used to describe the character’s innocence, fakeness, and corruption. While green represents Gatsby’s hopes, ambitions, and dreams. In addition, sometimes green symbolizes the jealousy of certain characters. The color white appeared many times throughout the book. It is used in the first chapter by Nick when he sees Daisy and Jordan in East Egg. “They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.” (Pg. 8) In this passage, white is used to describe Daisy’s and Jordan’s innocence and purity. However, in page 24 the real characteristics of Daisy are revealed, “Our white girlhood was passed together there our beautiful white”, this tells us that when Daisy was younger she was innocent, but now she has changed. In page 116, the author talks about Jordan: “Jordan’s fingers, powdered white over their tan, rested for a moment in mine.” This symbolizes fakeness, it tells us that Jordan is a superficial woman just like Daisy. They try to pretend to be something that they are not, just because they want to fit into the high society. Fitzgerald also refers to the steps to Gatsby’s house as being white. Even the windows at Daisy’s house are white. “The windows were ajar and gleaming white.” (Pg.13) this tells us that Daisy and Gatsby look innocent from the outside but not from the inside, instead they are corrupted people. This thought is also expressed when Gatsby takes Nick for a ride in his car. When he is stopped by a policeman, Gatsby shows the officer a white card, which symbolizes corruption. When the commissioner sees this, he lets Gatsby go. Nick thought it was a Christmas card sent to him by the officer, but later on we learn that Gatsby had bribed the police officer. White might also be related to Tom, who is a racist man. He is very concerned about a book he read called “The Rise of the Coloured Empire”.

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