The American Dream and Colors
The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a story set in the 1920’s in New York City. It tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a young man who bootlegs and gambles to achieve wealth, only to impress his first love, a materialistic spoiled girl named Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby and Daisy went their separate ways when Gatsby joined the war. Now Daisy is married to Tom Buchanan and Gatsby is trying to win her back through wealth. Gatsby’s one goal is to have Daisy; despite her marriage he believes that he can recreate his past with her. Fitzgerald, paints the picture of the of Gatsby’s dream with symbolism, by using the colors gold/yellow, white sliver, and green, the reader comprehends the true contrast in characters and the American dream. The first and most dominant color Fitzgerald uses is gold/yellow. He uses these colors to symbolize money and wealth, but yellow is made to be seen as a fake gold. He uses gold to represent Jordan Bakers wealth which is not fake. Jordan is portrayed as the golden girl when Nick describes her arm as a “slender golden arm” (43). An example of yellow being a fake gold is shown when Fitzgerald uses color to describe Gatsby’s car. And if that isn’t enough, T. J. Eckleburg's glasses, looking over the wasteland of America, are yellow. Many of the characters in the book are rich; emptiness is a trait Fitzgerald shows they have. He uses white to symbolize the emptiness. For example, most of the houses in East Egg, the place where those who inherited wealth; for example the Bucananas, are described as being white. The Buchanan’s home, in particular, has “windows . . . ajar and gleaming white” and a “frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling” (8). Also, when Nick first arrives in New York, he visits the Buchanans passing the “white palaces of fashionable East Egg” (5). Fitzgerald s portrays the empty, nothingness of the lazy afternoons of the rich. In their home, Daisy and her friend, Jordan Baker,...
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