Great Gatsby Color Symbolism

2467 Words Apr 15th, 2011 10 Pages
During the 1920’s, many people would disguise themselves through the identities of someone else. In the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main characters can be seen “hiding” behind the symbolism of different colors. Color affects the mood, emphasizes the importance of events in a novel, and can also interact with the personalities of the characters. The concept of color symbolism is prominent in the novel. White, yellow, blue, green, and even the color black affect the atmosphere of scenes through association with a specific mood, and also through the actions of the characters.
The color white is associated with purity and innocence. Gatsby and Nick, the main male characters in the story, can be affiliated with this
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When Gatsby was stopped by the police for speeding, he got out of it by “taking a white card from his wallet, and waving it before the man’s eyes” (Fitzgerald 68). This here shows how innocent Gatsby can be, just by using something white. When we turn our focus to Nick, we see that he believes that he himself in the most honest person he knows, and how he is usually dressed in white to symbolize his innocence. An important event in the novel is when Nick goes to Gatsby’s party for the first time, “Dressed up in white flannels, I went over to his lawn a little after seven” (Fitzgerald 47). Nick dressing in white symbolizes how he is immaculate, unlike the others at the party who could be labeled as corrupt. “White traditionally symbolizes purity, and there is no doubt that Fitzgerald wants to underscore the ironic disparity between the purity of the characters, and their actual corruption” (Schneider 146). The color yellow can be connected with the symbolism of greed, desire for wealth, and “old money”. Corruption is also distinctly represented by yellow, but death is also a key to yellows dark symbolism. The color yellow can be seen around a tragic death. The first time this is seen is when Myrtle is killed. She is the mistress of Tom, and is also married to a man named George Wilson. Myrtle was killed by Gatsby’s yellow Rolls Royce, in front of her yellow brick house, and under the yellow spectacled eyes of Dr.
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