Preview

What Does The Gold Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
1009 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
What Does The Gold Symbolize In The Great Gatsby
Jesica Jurj
Mrs. Tancredi
Honors English 10
May 12 2016
Gatsby: Story of Symbolism
Sometimes a symbol is all you need to say a thousand words. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby the lavish lifestyle of many of the characters ultimately leads to major consequences as their actions play a part in the crumbling American Dream. The tragic story of love, greed, and secrets exploits the toxic lifestyle of Gatsby, Daisy, and others in both West and East Egg. The significance of the many symbolic elements in The Great Gatsby reveals the themes that led to the downfall of many of the characters.
To begin, the haunting green light represents Gatsby's own American Dream and the struggle of trying to achieve it.. The green light at the
…show more content…
The repeated use of gold and yellow reveal more about the characters and attempts at the American Dream. Nicks observation that Daisy was Gatsby's "golden girl" illustrates the use of gold to represent Daisy's old wealth and how she's Gatsby's living dream (120). Gold is authentic and traditional old money of the East Egg and the vivaciousness of their lifestyle. Yellow, on the other hand, is fake gold and is used for show. Yellow is especially connected to Gatsby, as his parties play "yellow cocktail music" illustrating his illusion of wealth and success at the same level of the East Egg (40). Gatsby's car is also yellow which stands as a big symbol of his desire to be accepted into the high society of the old money in East Egg, and his failure to do so because of his "fake" lifestyle of wealth that is tainted yellow and not thriving in gold. Also, the use of white reveals more about the personality of the characters, specifically Daisy. The description of Daisy's house as "windows ajar and gleaming white..." and even her own appearance as "Daisy's white face came up to meet his own" present her as morally unblemished and innocent. However as the story plays out it is evident the use of white to describe Daisy is not the best choice. While Daisy is often associated with white, it masks the true moral sins she possesses and is a symbol of false purity in her own pursuits of her money-hungry American Dream. The colors used all reveal the underlying traits that led to the downfall of the

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Throughout the book “The Great Gatsby”, F. Scott Fitzgerald finds different ways to incorporate symbolism that ties into the different characters and their different relationships with one another. The symbolism that he creates really shows how the american dream is never really possible.…

    • 470 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In The Great Gatsby there were countless areas in the book that had emotions, feelings, and many other characteristics represented by various colors. Gatsby was one of the characters that had some of these colors representing his different characteristics. Gatsby was referenced to many colors, but a couple that stood out more than the others were yellow, green, and pink/red. Yellow has a lot of possible meanings, however, the ones pertaining to Gatsby include his moments of criticality, and corruptness. Another color that has some significance to Gatsby is Green. Green can show both Gatsby’s wealth and corruptness. The last color pertaining to Gatsby is pink/red which can illustrate lust as well as danger. The colors yellow, green,…

    • 920 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    There is a green light that is placed at the end of the dock where Daisy lives, Gatsby, who lives across the lake, can barely see it from his West Egg mansion. This light is a symbol for the future of Daisy and Gatsby. In chapter 1, he tries to reach towards it during the night as a guide to lead him to his goals. Because his goal of reaching for Daisy is so relevant to the American Dream, it also symbolizes that great idea. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year…

    • 525 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, he uses symbolism in such detailed way. Fitzgerald integrates symbolism into the book so well that it is necessary to read it several times to fully understand it. Maureen Corrigan quotes “Many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.” Even a critic on the book itself had to read the story many times to fully understand all that the book has to offer. Fitzgerald focuses on three main themes in “The Great Gatsby” they are time, loss of appearance, and perspective. Most of the book’s structure is in one of these categories. In order to fully understand the book, we must better understand these three themes.…

    • 1222 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jay Gatsby embodies the idea of the American Dream in the sense that he has spent his whole life trying to achieve it. What Gatsby longs for is not wealth, as he has already achieved prosperity, but love. In the novel, Fitzgerald depicts Gatsby standing alone on the dock, reaching out toward a green light that can never be reached. Nick says, “. . . [Gatsby] he stretched out his arm toward the dark water in a curious way, and . . . involuntarily, I glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away” (Fitzgerald 20-21). The green light is a symbol of hope, representing Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy…

    • 950 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Great Gatsby Color Symbolism

    • 2452 Words
    • 10 Pages

    The color white is associated with purity and innocence. Gatsby and Nick, the main male characters in the story, can be affiliated with this color, but it mostly symbolizes Daisy and Jordan, the main female characters in the story. The characters can be seen using “white” as a way to make themselves look better. The color is first correlated with Daisy and Jordan when Nick is on a tour of Tom’s house, who is Daisy’s husband, and he sees two women who are “both in white” (Fitzgerald 8). This is significant because this is the first time that Daisy and Jordan are mentioned, and it portrays them innocently. Another instance where the representation of Daisy and Jordan together is mentioned is when Nick decides to drive to East Egg, New York for lunch at Tom’s house. When he arrives at the house, they are “laying upon an enormous couch, like silver idols weighing down their own white dresses” (Fitzgerald 115). Even though at this point in the story, you can clearly see the corrupt lifestyles that Daisy and Jordan live, they are still trying to depict themselves righteously. When we start to examine Daisy closer, we realize that she is always connected to white. When Daisy and Gatsby are together, and Daisy decides to kiss Gatsby, it is described as “Daisy’s white face came up to his own” (Fitzgerald 118). When Daisy kisses Gatsby, it is pictured as being a pure act, but…

    • 2452 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The color green is a very important symbol used throughout the book because it symbolizes the the hazy and eluding future with Daisy that Gatsby was trying to reach. One of the most important representation of the green color is the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock that Gatsby was extending his arm out to. This symbol leads to the theme of the American dream because Gatsby went from poor to rich to reach his goal but failed. Nick claims,”Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eludes us then, but that’s no matter- tomorrow we…

    • 531 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses color as a symbol throughout the novel. Colors can be used as foreshadowing in stories, commonly used to depict feelings of a character. These colors are used to create several settings throughout the book, along with several moods and are most definitely significant throughout the entire novel. Firstly, the discussion of the color gold and how it exemplifies wealth, happiness, and the attractive odds of attaining success will take place. Secondly, the color white will be discussed, pertaining how it describes perfection along with the value of honor. Lastly, the color green will be discussed, pertaining how the color depicts a better time along with the value of hope. Thus, because of the usage of the colors in the novel; gold, white, and green exemplify certain themes, moods, and symbols throughout the novel.…

    • 627 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 592 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel based on symbolism. Symbols throughout the novel aid in the development of all the characters, in particular Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. Three major symbols assist in those characters' development: the car symbolizes wealth, power of the upper class, and chasing dreams; the consumption of alcohol symbolizes revealing the truth; and New York City represents freedom to do what one pleases, not bound by the views of East or West Egg. The development of the characters Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan is shaped by these symbols throughout the novel.…

    • 927 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Gatsby Symbolism Essay

    • 740 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The first symbol we see in the book is the green light at the end of Gatsby’s pier. The first time we hear of it, we do not think much of it because all we see is Gatsby just staring at it. Literally we think of this light as something that just lights up the pier, but is a little more than that. The reason Gatsby moved to this house was to be right across the bay from Daisy, but this light is not just about Daisy. The green light represents the whole lifestyle he wanted to have with Daisy. He wanted to be rich, have the girl, and live the lavish lifestyle of a millionaire. He was able to accomplish two of these things but was able to get the one he most wanted. This is important to the story because during most of the book, Gatsby was doing everything in his power to be with Daisy again. He bought a house close to her, threw parties in attempt to find her, and got his friends to help him get Daisy. Even after all of this he was never able to be with Daisy. So the green light really just symbolized Gatsby’s attempts to win over the girl he loves but never able to do so.…

    • 740 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Fitzgerald uses the color blue to illustrate the dreams of an unachievable side of reality. Gatsby, an East Egg entrepreneur, makes a fortune for the purpose of attaining the love of Daisy, a West Egg girl born into wealth and status. The blue lawn represents the separation of Gatsby and Daisy: “He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it” (Fitzgerald 121). The separation of old and new money prevents Gatsby from having Daisy. The luxurious parties Gatsby throws prove that even with wealth, his true happiness is unattainable. His parties go long into the night: “There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars” (25). Even though many people attend Gatsby’s parties, his happiness is found in Daisy, not his wealth. Gatsby’s life revolves around his unattainable dream. His staff exemplifies his attempt to attain his dream: “A chauffeur in a uniform of robin’s egg blue crossed my lawn early that Saturday morning with a surprisingly formal note from his employer” (27). Gatsby puts his hope of winning Daisy in his wealth; unfortunately, his wealth serves as a reminder of his unattainable happiness.…

    • 773 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    This light is yet another symbol of the unobtainable dream. Later in the novel, readers find out that the light belongs to Daisy, Gatsby’s teenage sweetheart whom he built his entire life around. The green light symbolizes Gatsby’s dream of finally winning Daisy’s heart and picking up their long-lost relationship right where it had left off. This dream is unattainable because Daisy had created her own life without Jay. She was married to a man named Tom Buchanan and even had her own daughter who Daisy hoped would grow up to be “a beautiful little fool” (Fitzgerald, 20). This is represented by the distance of the green light across the bay. Not only does this separate Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan physically but it also separated them figuratively since Daisy had started over with someone new, rendering Gatsby’s dream…

    • 1259 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is full of symbols and symbolic ideas. Fitzgerald portrays important messages in the novel by his symbolic use of color, names, places and characters.…

    • 871 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, includes one very significant symbol: the green light. Situated at the end of Daisy’s dock, the green light is barely visible from Gatsby’s mansion on the other side of the river. This inanimate object embodies many complex meanings and influences several of the main characters, including Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway. The green light greatly affects Gatsby by symbolizing his hopes and dreams, representing the hazy future and embodying the American Dream.…

    • 556 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays