gatcolor Color Code in The Great Gatsby

gatcolor Color Code in The Great Gatsby

Length: 634 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The Color Code in The Great Gatsby


The Great Gatsby is full of symbolism. Colours, for example, are used to represent many different things; some even represent a theme of the novel. White, yellow, grey, green are just some of the colours which Fitzgerald uses in a special way, because each of these colours has a special meaning, different from the ones we regularly know or use.


White is a colour which appears many times throughout the novel. At first, it is used to describe Daisy. The first thing Nick mentions when he sees Daisy in East Egg is that she is wearing a white dress. This colour is related to Daisy, it is "her" colour. Daisy´s clothes are always white, her car is white, she even speaks about her "white childhood". This colour represents her purity, her innocence, her unperturbed self.


But "white" is not as innocent as it seems...When Gatsby takes Nick for a ride in his car, he is stopped by a policeman. Gatsby acts fast and shows the officer a white card, and the latter immediately excuses himself. At first, Gatsby makes Nick believe that it was a Christmas card sent to him by the commissioner, but later on we learn that Gatsby had bribed the police officer. So, in contrast, "white" also represents corruption.


"White" can also be related to Tom, who is the perfect example of a racist man. He believes that black people should disappear, and is very concerned about a book he has recently read called The Rise of the Coloured Empire. He believes that white is the superior race. So, black and white are used to show how racism affected people from the high classes at that time. While riding in Gatsby´s car, Nick sees a limousine driven by a white chauffeur and ridden by black passengers, members of the high society. This shows how strongly black people fought to conquer or fulfil their so-called "American Dream", which at that time was even more difficult for black people (former slaves) than for white ones.


Another important colour, which calls our attention at the beginning, when we meet Gatsby, is green. When Nick sees Gatsby for the first time in his backyard, he notices that Gatsby is looking intensely at a green light in the distance, with his arms stretched towards it, as if trying to reach it.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"gatcolor Color Code in The Great Gatsby." 27 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

gatcolor Great Gatsby Essays: Importance of Color

- Importance of Color in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald             In literature, colors are often purposefully chosen for different characters to represent the character’s personalities. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the colors green, yellow/gold, and gray are used to represent the attributes of the colored person or place.             Apparently, green is the most prominently used color in the novel. The reason for this may be that green is the color used to describe the main character of the novel, Jay Gatsby....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
612 words (1.7 pages)

gatcolor Color of Money in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Essays

- The Color of Money in The Great Gatsby A major aspect of The Great Gatsby was the effect that money has on each one of the characters. Money influenced Daisy’s love, it influenced Tom life, influences Nick’s wants, Jordan’s standards, and money also pushed Gatsby to get what he lost. The effect money has on Daisy is noticed from the beginning. She is married to a wealthy man in which she says she loves. The love for her husband is not the same love that she has had with other men. This love is influenced mainly by the amount of money he has....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

gatcolor Great Gatsby Essay: Imagery of Colors

- The Great Gatsby:  Imagery of Colors                    F. Scott Fitzgerald used the imagery of colors in his masterpiece The Great Gatsby.  The colors are used very frequently as symbols, and the hues create atmosphere in different scenes of the book.  White is a clean and fresh color, but the author shows how it can be tainted as well.  Next, yellow illustrates the downfall of moral standards of the people of West Egg.  Lastly, green, the most dominant color in the book, symbolizes wealth and Gatsby's unattainable dream....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
502 words (1.4 pages)

gatcolor Symbols and Symbolism Essay - Symbolic Colors in Great Gatsby

- Symbolic Colors in Great Gatsby Colors can accentuate the meanings of a story and explain certain actions of a character. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald applies many important colors that allude to the personality of his characters. The colors given are repeated multiple times so that they can be established. To fully understand the characters of the story, one must recognize the associated colors that are given. Green is the color of "healing, money, prosperity, greed, luck, and fertility"(Nadia Davis)....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
401 words (1.1 pages)

Use of Color in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism and colors in The Great Gatsby is prominent in every chapter of his novel. To fully understand the meaning of his color use, a reader must recognize the situations in which these colors are used. Throughout the novel Fitzgerald uses the color green. Green has many possible interpretations, and its’ use to reveal insight into Gatsby’s character is probably the most meaningful. One possible meaning of the color green is envy. Gatsby can be seen as an envious, jealous character....   [tags: The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Research Papers
584 words (1.7 pages)

Color Symbols and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Color Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Color symbolism is popular in novels written during the 1920’s. One such example is Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. There is much color symbolism in this novel, but there are two main colors that stand out more than the others. The colors green and white influence the story greatly. Green shows many thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and choices that Gatsby has throughout the story. White represents the stereotypical façade that every character is hiding behind....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays Fitzgerald]

Free Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

Color Interpretations in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Discovering hidden messages in a novel compares to solving a puzzle or finding hidden treasure. Underlying symbols appear in many works of literature and lead the reader forward to discover the deeper substance of a character. In The Great Gatsby, Francis Scott Fitzgerald uses subtle tones and clues to tell readers more about a character. These signs aid the reader in revealing the meaning of certain situations and clearing up any confusion. Colors contribute much to explain the unconscious thoughts of characters and explain the characters’ essences....   [tags: American Literature ]

Research Papers
1313 words (3.8 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby Essay

- F. Scott Fitzgerald created the famous, American classic, The Great Gatsby, with thought-provoking detail and color symbolism. Critics have been deeply analyzing it since it was published in 1925. There are a few memorable color symbolisms that are throughout the book. Everyone interprets literature in their own way so there are many different theories; there are even people that do not believe in color symbolism. Certain colors are continually being associated with a specific character/theme, which allows one to conclude that Fitzgerald intended on colors being symbolic....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Color]

Research Papers
727 words (2.1 pages)

Great Gatsby Color Imagery & Symbolism Essay example

- ... Another way yellow is shown through death is when Gatsby walked past the yellowing trees that were on the way to his pool before he was killed by George Wilson. “Gatsby shouldered the mattress and headed for the pool. Once he stopped and shifted it a little and the chauffeur asked him if he needed any help, but he shook his head and in a moment disappeared among the yellowing trees.” (Fitzgerald p.169). This shows the color yellow playing a role in death once again. At the parties you can tell that yellow is apparent....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, literary analysis]

Research Papers
1161 words (3.3 pages)

Theories Of Color Vision And Opponent Process Theory Essay

- Theories of Color Vision The visual abilities of human beings are incredibly fascinating. We can view a large range of color from a small selection of wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum, 400nm-700nm. Our understanding of this perception of color comes from two major theories Tri-chromatic theory of color vision and opponent-process theory. Both theories have their merits and one actually grew out of the other. The first theory that was proposed was the tri-chromatic theory. The tri-chromatic theory of color vision states that our color vision is dependent on the activity of our three color receptors....   [tags: Color, Color blindness, Color vision]

Research Papers
1574 words (4.5 pages)

Related Searches

Later on, we learn that that special light is the end of Daisy´s  dock, across the bay which separates East Egg from West Egg. That colour represents Gatsby´s ambition, his dream: to win Daisy, that light is the reason why he is ready to part with everything to win her love. To reach that light is his only desire in life. So, in this case, green is used as a metaphor: to represent Daisy.

Yellow and blue also make a difference in the novel. Gatsby´s car is yellow, Tom´s car is blue. If both had been black (as they usually were in those times) Gatsby would not have been  killed by George Wilson. So, yellow, in a way, lead to Gatsby´s death.


Another importance of these colours is that Dr. Eckleburg´s eyes are bright blue, and his spectacles yellow. This may not seem important at first but the colour of the eyes do make a difference. If Dr. Eckleburg´s eyes had been brown instead of blue, they would not have seemed to be looking so deeply, "inside" each character.


So, as we can see, colours do make a difference in this novel. This may not be noticed at first, but each colour says more than we realise. Each colour makes a difference, highlights a different aspect. And this effect is created thanks to Fitzgerald´s excellent and incomparable ability to write.

Return to