The Great Gatsby symbolism essay.



By: Kristin



The Hidden Story in Green and White

Color symbolism is really popular in novels written during the 1920's.

One such example is Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby. There is much

color symbolism in this novel, but there are two main colors that stand out

more than the others. The colors green and white influence the story

greatly. Green shows many thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and choices that

Gatsby has throughout the story. White represents the stereotypical fa?ade

that every character is hiding behind.

The color green, as it is used in the novel, symbolizes different choices

the character, Gatsby, can make during his life. The green element in this

novel is taken from the green light at the end of the dock near Daisy's

house. The color itself represents serenity, as in everything is perfect.

This warns Gatsby that he should not pursue his dream for getting Daisy back,

because his chance has passed and everything is as it should be. This is

shown with Nick's insight, "?His dream must have seemed so close that he

could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind

him? (Pg.189)"

Another symbolization of the color green, which contradicts the first, is

the meaning "go." As in a traffic light signal, most people associate green

with the word and action "go." This can be interpreted as meaning Gatsby

should go for his dream without hesitation. It implies that Gatsby and Daisy

are meant to be together and nothing should stop Gatsby from his destined

happiness and love with Daisy. It inspires hope for Gatsby that he is on the

right path, heading towards the best years of his life. He believes that

things will soon be as they once were, only better. ""I'm going to fix

everything just the way they were before," he said nodding determinedly.

"She'll see."(Pg. 117.)"

The last symbolization the color green has in this novel is an urge to strive

ahead in life, to do better in life and succeed. Gatsby changes his entire

persona for a better, more sociable, image and status. He is constantly

striving to be a more successful figure in society. Ever since he was a boy

he put himself on a schedule with hopes for becoming a highly respected,

well-known person. "He knew he had a big future in front of him. (Pg. 181),"

his dad says about him. "Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some

resolves like this?(Pg. 182)."

White is the other color symbolism interlaced into this novel. Where green

only influenced one character, white has a wider range of influence on the

characters. This color symbolizes one thing, a fa?ade, but it appears in

every character. For example, Daisy is always seen wearing white, which

gives her and innocent naive appearance. It is as though she uses that as an

excuse for when she does something ridiculous or childish, making it seem

like she does not know any better. In reality, she knows exactly what she

does but just doesn't care. She uses this little princess image and her

money to hide her biased, snobbish, and conceited view of herself and her

lifestyle. "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things

and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast

carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together?(Pg. 187-188)."

Another character that hides behind the white symbolic fa?ade is Jordan

Baker. She also wears white quite often. She acts as though she is superior

to everyone around her. Her posture, her attitude, and even the things she

says imply this arrogance. "She was extended full length at her end of the

divan, completely motionless and with her chin raised a little as if she were

balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If she saw me she

me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it-indeed I was almost

surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in.

(Pg.13)." She portrays a bored and apathetic attitude about everything,

which is part of her "I am too good for you" appearance. In reality, she

just wants to be as respected and socially accepted as Gatsby. She is not

willing to take responsibility for her actions and uses her image as