Great GatsbyThe Hidden Story in Green and White Color symbolism is really popular in novelswritten during the 1920’s.
One such example is Scott Fitzgerald’s novel TheGreat Gatsby. There is much color symbolism in this novel, but there are twomain colors that stand out more than the others. The colors green and whiteinfluence the story greatly. Green shows many thoughts, ideas, attitudes, andchoices that Gatsby has throughout the story. White represents the stereotypicalfa?ade that every character is hiding behind.
The color green, as it is used inthe novel, symbolizes different choices the character, Gatsby, can make duringhis life. The green element in this novel is taken from the green light at theend of the dock near Daisy’s house. The color itself represents serenity, asin everything is perfect. This warns Gatsby that he should not pursue his dreamfor getting Daisy back, because his chance has passed and everything is as itshould be. This is shown with Nick’s insight, “.Order now
. . His dream must have seemedso close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it wasalready behind him.
. . (Pg. 189)” Another symbolization of the color green,which contradicts the first, is the meaning “go. ” As in a traffic lightsignal, most people associate green with the word and action “go.
” This canbe interpreted as meaning Gatsby should go for his dream without hesitation. Itimplies that Gatsby and Daisy are meant to be together and nothing should stopGatsby from his destined happiness and love with Daisy. It inspires hope forGatsby 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’mgoing to fix everything just the way they were before,” he said noddingdeterminedly.
“She’ll see. “(Pg. 117. )” The last symbolization the colorgreen has in this novel is an urge to strive ahead in life, to do better in lifeand succeed. Gatsby changes his entire persona for a better, more sociable,image and status. He is constantly striving to be a more successful figure insociety.
Ever since he was a boy he put himself on a schedule with hopes forbecoming a highly respected, well-known person. “He knew he had a big futurein front of him. (Pg. 181),” his dad says about him.
“Jimmy was bound to getahead. He always had some resolves like this. . . (Pg. 182).
” White is the othercolor symbolism interlaced into this novel. Where green only influenced onecharacter, white has a wider range of influence on the characters. This colorsymbolizes one thing, a fa?ade, but it appears in every character. For example,Daisy is always seen wearing white, which gives her and innocent naiveappearance. It is as though she uses that as an excuse for when she doessomething ridiculous or childish, making it seem like she does not know anybetter. In reality, she knows exactly what she does but just doesn’t care.
Sheuses this little princess image and her money to hide her biased, snobbish, andconceited view of herself and her lifestyle. “They were careless people, Tomand Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back intotheir money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept themtogether. . . (Pg.
187-188). ” Another character that hides behind the whitesymbolic fa?ade is Jordan Baker. She also wears white quite often. She acts asthough she is superior to everyone around her.
Her posture, her attitude, andeven the things she says imply this arrogance. “She was extended full lengthat her end of the divan, completely motionless and with her chin raised a littleas if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If shesaw me she me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it?indeed Iwas almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her bycoming in. (Pg.
13). ” She portrays a bored and apathetic attitude abouteverything, which is part of her “I am too good for you” appearance. Inreality, she just wants to be as respected and socially accepted as Gatsby. Sheis not willing to take responsibility for her actions and uses her image as aguard implying that she could not have possibly done anything immoral, much likeDaisy. However, “She was incurably dishonest.
She wasn’t able to endurebeing at a disadvantage, and given this unwillingness I suppose she had begundealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep the coolinsolent smile turned towards the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hardjaunty body. (Pg. 63). ” Color symbolism is not very noticeable, yet it cantell a great deal about a story. In this case, the colors give the reader a lookat the character’s choices and the paths he or she could have chosen comparedto the ones the character chose, which adds dimension to the story. The greenthe different choices Gatsby can make, whether it serves as a warning, aninspiration, or an urge to get ahead.
The white symbolizes a mask, or a fa?ade. It allows the characters to portray themselves as a whole other person and hidewho they really are. This puts a piece of reality into the story, as everyonewears a white mask of some kind to hide his or her true self from the world. Itis the unsubtle clues given to the reader that are fascinating and allow aperson to relate to the characters.