Symbolism & Color Imagery In The Great Gatsby
Francis Scott Fitzgerald uses colors to represent symbols and themes throughout The Great Gatsby. The characters in the novel are often associated with a key color and this can help depicate emotions and feelings in certain events. Fitzgerald also uses color to place a deeper and stronger connection to other topics. His use of color imagery and symbolism enhances the novel in ways that only color could describe.
Fitzgerald, refers to the color green quite frequently throughout the novel. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling” (Fitzgerald, 25). Later on the reader finds out this figure was Jay Gatsby reaching out from his dock towards a green light across the bay. The color green represents Gatsby’s love and hope for his ultimate dream to be with Daisy, an old lover.
Money is represented with the color green as well. Throughout the novel, Gatsby is constantly trying to buy and show off to gain Daisy’s affection. Tom Buchanan uses his “old money” to make up for their relationship problems between Daisy and often avoids solving their issues. Gatsby’s new money can be seen as filth because of the mysterious ways he earns it. Later Tom announces his feelings of Gatsby and his “new money” spending, “I know I’m not very popular. I don’t give big parties. I suppose you’ve got to make your house into a pigsty in order to have any friends — in the modern world,” (Fitzgerald, 139).
The color blue is mentioned in different ways and represents more than one meaning depending upon the interpretation. Blue is used when Fitzgerald introduces the eyes of doctor T.J. Eckleburg on a billboard in the valley of ashes. “The eyes of doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic” (Fitzgerald, 27). The billboard symbolizes God and how sees everything, which is why their is such an emphasis on the eyes throughout the novel. George Wilson is initially described as colorless, but his moody and depressed actions after Myrtle dies are shown through the use of the color blue. Before Gatsby found Daisy (when sad and alone), his surroundings were often referred to as blue. “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went” (Fitzgerald, 42). The leaves and smoke are also described as blue. Gatsby is buried in the graveyard, it is full of sadness and described as blue, “He had come a long way to this blue lawn” (Fitzgerald, 171).
White is used to represent Daisy and Jordan. White shows purity and an unattainable factor about the characters. Fitzgerald uses emphasis on the color white when Jordan and Daisy are introduced, “The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside…” (Fitzgerald, 10). Daisy and Jordan are also in white dresses and Fitzgerald really wants the reader to almost portray them as goddesses.
Although Jordan and Daisy are first seen as innocent and pure, Fitzgerald transforms them and shows that...