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The Great Gatsby Color Imagery

  • Date Submitted: 03/21/2010 05:43 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.4 
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Color Imagery in The Great Gatsby
To fully understand the meaning of his color use, the reader must recognize the situations in which these colors are used since they are portrayed in special ways. Each color has a special meaning, different from the ones we regularly know or use. Fitzgerald’s use of color imagery in The Great Gatsby is prominent in every chapter of his novel.
Throughout the novel Fitzgerald uses the color green. Green has many possible interpretations, and its’ use to reveal insight into Gatsby’s character is the most meaningful. One possible meaning of the color green is envy. Gatsby can be seen as an envious, jealous character. Gatsby and Daisy had a romantic affair when she lived in Chicago, it was during their evenings out that they formed an emotional and physical intimacy, one based on Gatsby’s desire to gain a prize from a higher social standing than his: “He took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously—eventually he took Daisy one green October night, took her because he had no real right to touch her hand” (Fitzgerald 149). Here, Fitzgerald makes it clear that Gatsby’s desire is based on an envy of status or class. It’s made evident in “no real right,”   which is more than any sincere love for Daisy as a person.
Similarly, Fitzgerald establishes Gatsby’s deep connection with Daisy by explaining that Gatsby “felt married to her” after their youthful nights of passion (Fitzgerald 149). Because of this bond, Gatsby feels as though he is entitled to her companionship even more than her legal husband is. Thus showing Gatsby is indeed jealous of Tom and Daisy’s marriage, longing that it was him; instead of Tom; who was married to Daisy.
Yet in another perspective the color green can be seen as the imagery of hope. Gatsby moves to East Egg in order to be on the opposite side of the Long Island Sound (lake); “he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock” while observing the stars one night ( Fitzgerald 171)....


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