The Symbolism of Colors in The Great Gatsby

The Symbolism of Colors in The Great Gatsby

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There a several colors used for symbolism in the novel “The Great Gatsby”.
For example the colors BLUE, GREEN, WHITE and YELLOW are used throughout
the book.

The first time Nick Carraway meets his cousin Daisy Buchanan at Tom’s
and Daisy’s home, she was dressed totally in white. So as the house and
its furnishings are also tuned in light shades. This fact might be interpreted
as: beauty, cleanliness, wealth, innocence, virginity and also laziness.
Daisy’s color is white, she wears white dresses and recalls her “white
girlhood”, and this use of color helps her to characterize her as the unattainable
“enchanted princess” who becomes incarnate as Gatsby’ s dream (p.21, l.8-9).
The use of a green light at the end of a landing stage to signal a romantic
reunion, is intriguingly similar to the green light at the end of Daisy’s
Buchanan’ s dock, which becomes key image in “The Great Gatsby”. The initial
appearance of the green light occurs when Carraway sees Gatsby for the
first time, standing in front of his mansion and stretching out his arms
to ‘a single green light, minute and far away that might have been the
end of dock’ (p.22, l 31-33). The light has become, for Gatsby, the symbol
of a reunion with Daisy. Green is very significantly associated with both
the green light and the “green breast of the new world”, uniting the hope
and promise of Gatsby’ s dream with that of America itself. The color green
is traditionally associated with spring, hope and youth.

The color blue in “The Great Gatsby” represents hope for the future.
It represents a lost time, a pure color that is overly displayed, a pure
color in the valley of ashes. T.J. Eckleburg's eyes are blue, perhaps symbolizing
a higher world from which God looks down upon the scene. Tom's car being blue may even
represent the relationship between Tom and Daisy, (being unhappy), based on money and not love. Blue also represents
fantasy, and is a symbol of a different world.

As Gatsby' s lawn is blue, his house is a place where people can go
to get away from reality. His parties are out of touch with the real world,

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and in an era of dreams and illusions.

The silver moonlight in this sentence is one of many examples of Fitzgerald’
s use of images of color. Silver and gold (or yellow), the colors of wealth,
recur again and again, associated especially with vulgar displays of prosperity.
One of the most re-occurring and prominent symbols is that of the colors
yellow and white, especially in Daisy, East- and West Egg.
An egg is white is white (purity, innocence) on the outside, but yellow
(corrupt) on the inside. So is Daisy.
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