Gatsby Colors and Symbols Chart
Archetypal associations- White is usually associated with purity, or the sense of innocence in people. Also, white is commonly used with cleansing and wholesomeness. The color white seems pure, and untainted by anything else, and seems to go well with any other color.
Use in Great Gatsby- In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses the color white to mainly associate with the character of Daisy. He refers to the color white in many spots in the book while describing her character, her dress, and her house. He starts off the novel with the impression that Daisy represents the innocence and purity of the novel. “The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house...twisting them up towards the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling…” (pg 8). This quote describes Daisy’s house she shares with Tom, and with the mentioning of white, and “wedding-cake” which is usually white as well, which shows her elegance and purity wherever she goes and lives. When first described, “They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering…” (pg 8), which shows how she wears and carries cleanliness around her. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald keeps referencing white with Daisy, and her sense of purity, as there is the color white it seems whenever Daisy is present, and also with her physical description. In the book Fitzgerald mentions Daisy’s “white neck,” and “His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own.” (pg 112). He lures the reader into thinking that Daisy is this angelic figure, when later in the novel, and even pretty early on the reader gets the hint that Daisy might not be as white as Fitzgerald portrays her as.
Archetypal associations- Green is usually associated with envy and jealousy, with phrases such as “green with envy.” But green also represents nature, and the calming natural environment and soothing life that comes with the wilderness.
Use in Great Gatsby- In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald does not use the color green quite as much as many of the other colors, but he does choose moments to implement the color green to hint at what he wants to symbolize. Fitzgerald mainly uses the color green in the context of vitality and the future. Fitzgerald uses the idea of the future Gatsby imagines to connect to the color green, mainly by means of the green light, and other references to the color that Gatsby says. At the close of chapter 1, Nick unofficially sees Gatsby for the first time, and he notices him staring at a single green light at the end of a dock. This represents Gatsby looking at the future that he envisions, particularly his future with Daisy in it. Also later in the book, the green light is mentioned several other times, showing how his undying future that he imagines stays strong and glowing inside of him. There are also other references to the future and Gatsby, such as the last words of the book, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.” (pg 181). However, straying away from the symbolism of hope, the color green also represents wealth in The Great Gatsby. The time period of the book is set in the Roaring 20s, a time where wealth and money were significantly important. Gatsby shows off his wealth with his parties, house, and material possessions. Gatsby has a mansion with a large green lawn and green ivy going up to his house, which shows off some of his wealth. Also Gatsby’s car shows off his wealth too, “many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory…” (pg 64), and later when Gatsby’s car runs over Myrtle, Michaelis, “-he told the first policeman that it was light green.” (pg 138). However, there is the connection between the color green and jealousy in the book, as Gatsby is jealous of Tom that he has Daisy instead of him. In the beginning it says Gatsby’s house was,...
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