The Human Conditions in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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For most people, a certain colour may represent something meaningful to them. While in the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many of the colours used in the novel are meant to represent something. The novel’s setting is in East and West Egg, two places in New York. Our narrator, Nick Carraway, lives in the West Egg. Along with living in West Egg is a friend of Nick’s, Jay Gatsby; a character that is in love with Daisy Buchanan. Unfortunately, Daisy is married to Tom. As the plot unravels, the reader notices the connection between certain colours and their importance to the novel. The use of colours within The Great Gatsby symbolizes actual themes, as grey symbolizes corruption, blue symbolizes reality, and green symbolizes jealousy and envy.

Grey is a dull colour to begin with, so naturally it would make sense if Fitzgerald utilized that colour to symbolize as corruption. In The Great Gatsby is a place called The Valley of Ashes. “The ‘Valley of Ashes’…symbolizes the human situation in an age of chaos. It is ‘a certain desolate area of land’ in which ‘ash-grey men’ swarm dimly, stirring up ‘an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.’” (Dyson 113). Nick thinks of the place to be “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills into grotesque gardens” (Fitzgerald 23). And that is exactly what it is, since it’s a barren land of human waste. In The Valley of Ashes live Wilson and his wife Myrtle. The Valley of Ashes resembles something dark and lifeless. As a result of fire ashes stand for destruction and death. Furthermore the death of Myrtle Wilson in the Valley of Ashes stands for the pain and the corruption associated with this valley and the death of Myrtle Wilson. Also...

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... to represent all of the jealousy and envy.

In conclusion, Fitzgerald uses colours to express the different themes in the novel. The colour grey in the Valley of Ashes symbolizes all of the corruption, while the colour blue represents the reality that is blinded throughout the plot, and green represents all of the jealousy and envy. In the end, the colours have a lot of important significance to the book, just as certain colours may have importance to people.

Work Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2013. Print.

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