Color, the way an object is perceived, is utilized the Great Gatsby as a means to express, a character’s personality, one’s status, and lastly, a symbolic meaning. Fitzgerald used color to express many personalities, such as those of Daisy and Jordan, who were almost always clothed in white. Interestingly, the white appearance would imply purity and innocence, which are, unfortunately, words that can not be remotely associated with either one. Daisy provided an explanation of how they had “spent a white girl-hood together,” which is an ironic contrast if based on the means of which they handled future impediments and situations and also, personality descriptions of the two by other characters.
In addition to expressing personalities, color in the Great Gatsby, also displays a status an individual or value of an item. The Buchanan’s “cheerful red-and-white Georgia Colonial mansion,” gives the reader a perception that their house has much beauty and value associated with it. Another example would be how Daisy’s apparel is accented with gold or silver, the colors of money.
The presence of these colors indirectly expresses Daisy’s tremendous wealth. A further incident of colors reflecting class status would encompass the “Valley of Ashes.” The dark and gray descriptions Fitzgerald provides the reader helps illustrate a poor, useless, and desolate area of land. Lastly, the author exploits color for symbolic meanings such as when Gatsby yearned for the green light from Daisy’s dock. The green light is similar to the green continent of America, which is a symbol of hope.
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