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The Great Gatsby Color symbolism
“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions” --Pablo Picasso
Gold Why gold and not green to • Richness symbolize money? • “old money” • happy or prosperous: golden days, golden age • successful: the golden girl • extremely valuable: a golden opportunity
Yellow • Sometimes the gold at Gatsby's house turns to yellow • Yellow is fake gold • Gatsby’s car is yellow– his desire and failure • TJ Eckleburg’s glasses are yellow.
Silver • jewelry and richness • In The Great Gatsby the moon or moonlight or the stars are often silver: • "the silver pepper of the stars" (p. 25); • "The moon had risen higher, and floating in the Sound was a triangle of silver scales" (p. 48); • "A silver curve of the moon hovered already in the western sky" (p. 114).
White 1) morally unblemished • honorable; pure; innocence • When Nick Caraway visited the Buchanans he met two young women, of course Daisy and Jordan "They were both in white" (p. 13). • Even the windows at Daisy's house are white "The windows were ajar and gleaming white" (p. 13). • "Our white girlhood was passed togethere. Our beautiful white" (Daisy and Jordan, p. 24). • "they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight" (Daisy and Gatsby, p. 106). • In a El-Greco-like picture at the end of the novel "four solemn men in dress suits are walking along the sidewalk with a stretcher on which lies a drunken woman in a white evening dress" (p. 167). • "His heart beat faster as Daisy's white face came up to his own" (p. 107).
White • Daisy Fay. She wears white clothes and has a white car. • Fitzgerald uses the color white for At the end of the novel ["the party was over" (p. 171), like the end of the Jazz Age at the Great Depression 1929] somebody soiled Gatsby's house. "On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight, and I erased it" (p. 171).
Green • Fitzgerald used it mainly for "not faded", like in "a green old age", • or for hope. • • • This green light is across the sea where Buchanan's house is supposed to be. Gatsby said: "» You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock «" (p. 90); "Now it was again a green light on a dock" (p. 90); “. . . when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock" (p. 171); "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us" (p. 171). Later the whole water between Gatsby and Daisy gets green "On the green Sound, stagnant in the heat, . . " (p. 112).
Grey • is often used for neutral • dull • not important • The Valley of Ashes • The ash is associated with lifelessness and barrenness. • Wilson: “laughed in an agreeable colorless way. ” His face is “ashen” and a “white ashen dust” covers his suit. • Jordan Baker has grey eyes and golden skin.
Blue • Gatsby’s illusions dreams of unreality • Blue surrounds Gatsby more than any other character. • His gardens are blue, chauffer wears blue, the water separating him from Daisy is blue, between the house and the water is the blue lawn. • TJ Eckleburg’s eyes are blue • Tom’s car is blue • Gatsby’s party guests wearing blue
Pink • Sometimes Gatsby comes up in the color pink. "the luminosity of his pink suit under the moon" (Gatsby, p. 136). • When Gatsby and Daisy are finally together, "there was a pink and golden billow of foamy clouds above the sea" (p. 91).
Red • • • Alive • The inside of Buchanan's Joy home is in red. Love "We walked through a high Shame hallway into a rage bright rosycolored space" (p. 13); • "Inside, the crimson room bloomed with light" (p. 22).