Symbolism in The Great Gatsby
Uploaded by Quest4Glory on Jul 05, 2004
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 façade 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....