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Colors are very apparent in The Great Gatsby

January 30, 2019 0 Comment

Colors are very apparent in The Great Gatsby. They often show up as descriptions to many important items throughout the book, and make those items resemble symbols. The color white confuses the reader, and often causes him/her to rethink their logic. It describes false purity and deception within something, which is very apparent in the character Daisy in this novel. The color grey gives the reader a comparison, and that is of humans to machines. Something that is lifeless is described as grey. After that, there is the final color of blue, something that is very dreamy. This is mostly associated with the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg but is also seen in other things as well. The colors white, grey, and blue cause the reader to rethink this whole book, and are associated with the most important symbols, in this novel. It is colors that truly make The Great Gatsby, a marvelous book to read.
White describes a falseness of purity of something that is deceiving. This is shown in the beginning of the novel when the brazen Jordan Baker and Daisy Buchanan are both introduced to Nick Carraway. “…that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire” (Fitzgerald 12). This quote includes the color white to describe their dresses, meaning that these two girls–Jordan and Daisy–are not what they seem to be. Another quote is when they are at Gatsby’s florid house, and Nick is leaving. “Then I went out of the room and down the marble steps into the rain, leaving them there together” (Fitzgerald 96). Since Gatsby’s house steps are white(marble), this doesn’t necessarily say that Gatsby’s house is false, but that Gatsby is false himself. Throughout the story, he tells many stories about himself which are false, and some true. This makes him a odd character throughout the novel, that is a hard one to trust. Out of all the characters, Daisy is certainly the one that fits this false purity description perfectly, considering that she ran over Myrtle and had Gatsby take all the blame for her fault. She is constantly feigning, throughout the book, and causes the tumult between Gatsby and Tom. White is certainly something that is apparent in the book.
Grey doesn’t show up as much as white in The Great Gatsby, but it does have a very strong effect. Perhaps the most effective one is at the decadent Valley of Ashes. “But above the grey land…” (Fitzgerald 23). That is not the only word that describes the Valley of Ashes, as they mention “gray cars” and “ash-gray men.” The point is that this place is completely lifeless and there is nothing that is human. Everything is basically machinery, even if people are working. Another big example of the color grey in this novel is in Jordan Baker’s eyes. “Her gray sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face” (Fitzgerald 11). Even without this description, the reader can assume that Jordan has grey eyes because she is such a lifeless character. Sure there can be different interpretations of this character, but based on how she treats everyone in the novel, one can assume that she isn’t very compassionate and really doesn’t care for anyone as much as herself. Grey is a lifeless color, and clearly demonstrates and shows how lifeless things are.
Blue is something that is very dreamlike, and this is most easily connected to the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. Shown throughout the novel, these eyes clearly represent the eyes of God as they judge everything that happens on West Egg, such as Myrtle’s death. “The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic…” (Fitzgerald 23). Something else that is blue is the grass that surrounds the Buchanan house. Combined with the green light, this just helps to show that this is clearly Gatsby’s dream, and Daisy is something that he is striving to obtain. Easily, the colors green and blue can be combined to show deeper meaning. “He had come a long way to this blue lawn…” (Fitzgerald 180). Blue is something that isn’t always described, but just things that can be interpreted, such as Gatsby’s pool. Gatsby is killed in his pool, and when you are killed, no one knows what happens. This just shows that it is a very dreamy subject, and connects everything by using a color. Dreams resonate in this book numerous times.

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