Great Gatsby Colors

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Chris Caron
Great Gatsby

The Valley of Ashes provides the scene for the majority of the use of the color gray in The Great Gatsby. Gray most prominently and obviously symbolizes the hopelessness that thrives within the Valley of Ashes. Fitzgerald describes the Valley of Ashes as "...a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys...and ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud....". The people who reside in the Valley of Ashes are of the lowest class, from which there is no escape. The gray atmosphere surrounding them symbolizes the hopelessness of their destitute situations. The color gray can also be interpreted a symbol of death. Fittingly, Myrtle Wilson's death occurs in the gray setting of the Valley of Ashes. Green stands as the most prominent color Fitzgerald employs in The Great Gatsby. Green is associated with both the green light of Daisy's dock and the "green breast of the new world," which unites the hope and promise of Gatsby' s dream with America. The color green is traditionally associated with spring, hope, and youth. Throughout the novel, green has many possible interpretations, but its use to explain Gatsby’s character is probably the most meaningful in the story. It is also probable that Fitzgerald uses green to symbolize money and its power in society. Money rules the lives of the people in the story. Gatsby needs money to live the life that he does. Gatsby also feels he needs the money to get back together with Daisy. Gatsby has a large green lawn and green ivy going up his house. Inside Gatsby’s car, the passengers sit "in a sort of green leather conservatory." All of these things represent the riches, as well as the importance of money in Gatsby’s life.

Gold is portrayed in many different places in this novel. Earlier, in Gatsby's life, he was deeply in love with Daisy. She had been his...
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