Colors in "The Great Gatsby"

Essay by wydrap001High School, 11th gradeA-, December 2006

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In literature, colors are often used to help in our indefication of character's personality. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, the colors green, yellow/gold, and gray are used to represent the attributes of the colored person or place. To fully understand the meaning of color use, a reader must recognize the situation in which these colors are used. The most frequent color in the novel that is used by the author is green. This color is used to describe the main character in the novel, Jay Gatsby. This particular color represents jealousy. Gatsby can be seen as a jealous man for various reasons. He is extremely envious of Tom because he has Daisy. Gatsby loves Daisy but he can not be with her. Also Gatsby is very jealous of the people who come to his party, because they are old money and he is not. This makes Gatsby the man, "green with envy".

Green also symbolizes money. In the novel, money controls the life of the people in the story. Gatsby feels that he needs green money to live and to impress Daisy and win back her love. Yellow and gold are also an example of old money.

Tom can be seen as a gold person because he has the old money, and the golden girl is of course Daisy. Gatsby and Tom contrast just like the two colors gold and green. The quote that I choose says: "... Jordan's slender golden arm resting on mine..." Gatsby desperately buys a yellow car and he will pretend to be an old money, even though everyone knows he is not. The two colors may look different, but deep down; the two can be seen as the same item. The author of the novel describes the Valley of Ashes as "...a...