Colors Show the Themes

Essay by Layna27High School, 11th gradeB, August 2014

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Colors Show the Themes

What is the purpose of color symbolism in literature? F. Scott Fitzgerald uses many different colors in his novel, The Great Gatsby, to bring the themes to life. In the story, the main character, Jay Gatsby, attempts to re-create the past by altering his identity and accumulating riches. He feels that he must remake the past in order to win over his lost love, Daisy Buchanan, who married another rich man while Gatsby was away fighting in the war. The narrator of the novel is Gatsby's neighbor, Nick Carraway, who is connected with all the main characters, and has the ability to see the good in Gatsby. In the novel, Fitzgerald uses colors to visually connect the themes and show how each character obtains his or her dream. He uses white to symbolize innocence, yellow to symbolize the repercussions of gaining wealth, and green to symbolize hope.

Different shades of white show purity, give false identities, and exemplify corruption. Pure white is often used in the story to represent purity and show the theme of innocence. The first time Nick introduces Daisy into the story she is with her friend, Jordan Baker. He focuses on how "they were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just blown back in after a short flight around the house" (Fitzgerald 8). Fitzgerald focuses on only the white color of the dresses showing their innocence and purity. Both these women are from a high class society and enjoy living a life of luxury. They both use pure white items to show off their wealth and portray that they have achieved their American dream. Part of Daisy's dream was to have a family, and this is why "it is particularly vital that...