"The Great Gatsby" Color Analysis

Essay by flame08High School, 10th gradeA, May 2007

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Character Color Analysis"The Great Gatsby", written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is discusses social classes, and focuses on the theme of a fading social order. This theme is shown in the relationships between the characters and undoubtedly in the characters themselves. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald not only uses color symbolism to set the scenes and events, but he also uses it to present, describe, and shape every single character. Gatsby is one of these characters; his choices, decisions, ideas, and beliefs are represented by symbolism and colors yellow, green, and white.

First, yellow stands out as the color that represents new money and wealth acquired. "…I put my arm around Jordan's golden shoulder."(Pg. 77). Fitzgerald uses gold, a vivid representation of yellow, to symbolize the wealth gained by Gatsby and the immense desire for him to get even more and to show it off to the entire society.

In the light of the following events, it is easy to see how Gatsby is blinded by his love for Daisy and therefore money. He buys a large yellow Rolls Royce to show off his new money. The band at his party plays "yellow cocktail music" to show his fulsome way of living and life. Yellow, as in Egypt and Burma, also symbolizes Gatsby's mourning about showing and telling his past; the yellow shirt he wears while he is lying to Nick about his past is a vivid example of this symbolism.

Second, Fitzgerald uses the color green to symbolize greed, hope, and jealousy. The new money and wealth gained by Gatsby is nothing compared to the old money that Tom Buchanan has always had. "In the sunlight his time was green."(Pg. 117). Green represents the envy that Gatsby feels for Tom and for the fact that Daisy is with...