The 1920’s introduced many new innovations to literature, such the use of color symbolism within stories and novels. Upon seeing a certain color, we, the reader, tend to connect the color with a specific emotion or meaning. This is exactly what the author F.
Scott Fitzgerald does in his most famous novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’. Because Fitzgerald is able to evoke emotions by incorporating color, he takes this advantage to connect his character’s persona with the reader under discreet terms. By not only examining the character’s actions and the setting but also the color that portrays them, the reader can better interpret the personality of the character and mood throughout the novel. Through the effective use of the colors yellow and gold, white, and green in ‘The Great Gatsby’, F. Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates how colors are able to symbolize and enhance characterization and setting.
Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald often mentions the color gold, or a vivid representation being yellow, which could represent wealth or more specifically, the “new money” people of West Egg. Jay Gatsby, born to a poor family and imagined being successful, is one of these “new money” people. He often tries to show off with his newly acquired wealth. He owns a yellow Rolls Royce, a huge mansion, and often throws “yellow cocktail parties” (pg. 42).
Many following events show how Gatsby is blinded by his love for Daisy Buchanan, Nick Carraway’s cousin and Tom Buchanan’s wife, but in reality, he’s blinded by the love and desire for her money and her “old money” status. Fitzgerald also tends to mention the color white, which could represent the purity, innocence, and dishonesty of a person. This could show Gatsby’s hopeless desire for Daisy’s love, as she was the lady of his dreams presented to him for the first time in five years wearing a white dress. Daisy also uses white powder on her face and also talks about her “white girlhood” possibly showing how pure and naive she was.