F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby in the 1920s. It is a story told through the eyes of Nick Caraway. Nick tells the story about a tragic love triangle between Nicks cousin Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. Daisy is married to Tom Buchanan who is having an affair with a married woman named Myrtle Wilson. Fitzgerald uses many colors to describe many objects, feelings and emotions; this is called color symbolism. Color symbolism is “the use of symbols to express or represent ideas or qualities in literature, art, etc.” (Merriam-Webster.com). Some of the colors Fitzgerald uses are green, white, and cream/yellow.
The color green is used by Fitzgerald to show hope and longing, envy, and jealousy. One of the ways the color green is used is by using a green light to show Gatsby longing for Daisy’s love. Nick watches as Gatsby stares across the water “he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way” (Fitzgerald 20). Nick looks to see what Gatsby is looking at “and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock (Fitzgerald 21). It was Daisy’s dock. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us” (Fitzgerald 180). This is referring to the hope and belief that Gatsby can win Daisy’s love. Green can symbolize many things. For instance, it can represent “ambition, greed and jealousy” (Parker). Myrtle is married to George Wilson and George is not a rich man and cannot give Myrtle nice things in life. George is pumping gas for Tom and “In the sunlight his face was green” (Fitzgerald 123). George is jealous of Tom’s money and fancy expensive car. “Green is often related to money and finance” (Fishman).
The color W…
…inks back to Gatsby “his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it” (Fitzgerald 180). But Nick will not give up on the dream. “to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther….And one fine morning…. (Fitzgerald 180). Nick intends to find the American Dream.
Ambekar, Ashwini. Different Colors and their Meanings. (October 2008) Web. 24 February 2014.
Eiseman, Leastrice. The Color: Answer Book: Virginia: Portions Pontome 2003 Print.
Fishman, Hirsch. Color in Web Design: Color Symbolism (January 2009) Web. 24 February 2014
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby: New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.
Merriam- Webster.com, Merriam-Webster, 2014 Web. 25 February 2014
Parker, Raetta. The Meaning of Colors. Web. 19 February 2014
Ritberger, Carol. What Color is your Personality United States: Hay House. Inc. 2000 Print