Gold In The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby Reading Journal
Colors prove quite important throughout the novel, in representation of both themes and characters themselves. The most notable color is gold, which captures the allure of wealth and the emptiness beneath it that Fitzgerald portrayed throughout the novel. The epigraph mentions gold twice, emphasizing its attractiveness (in this case, in a significant other.) The “gold hat” which it mentions symbolizes Gatsby and his aggregated false riches which were made to woo Daisy Buchanan. Interestingly enough, the author of the quote, Thomas Parke D’Invilliers, is a pen name for F. Scott Fitzgerald himself from an earlier novel, This Side of Paradise. The color gold appears many times to describe Daisy, Gatsby, and
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There is a slight correlation with Tom Buchanan. Blue brings up feelings of coolness and masculinity, two traits Tom possesses. Tom owns a blue coupe (133), and Myrtle, his mistress, wears a blue dress when Nick first meets her (28).
The main use of yellow finds itself in description of Gatsby’s car, which infamously kills Myrtle Wilson. The yellow, other than being a joyful color (and quite unusual for an automobile) is an off-gold hue which stands even more as an example of the juxtaposition of wealth and misery.
There are many cars used in The Great Gatsby. The most recognizable is Gatsby’s yellow Rolls-Royce, an infamous vehicle even before the collision with Myrtle. The author writes, “It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns” (69). Richly complex to the point of being overdone, this serves as a perfect reflection of Gatsby himself and his complicated array of riches. Nick has an old Dodge, which sets him apart from the fancy, expensive cars of the others (9). Eventually, when leaving the East after Gatsby’s murder, he sells the car (192). This symbolizes him moving on and getting over his
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Tom insists that Gatsby and Daisy take the car into town toward the end of the novel. The car, in this sense, corresponds to Daisy’s choice in a way; on the way into town, she was thinking of leaving Tom and marrying Gatsby, but afterward, when they take the yellow car, she is solidly with Tom. Tom also talks about selling his car to George Wilson. Daisy’s old car, as mentioned, was a white roadster to represent her innocence. Several collisions occur within the novel, carried out by Tom, Daisy, Jordan, and a drunk guest at Gatsby’s party. Tom got into a crash in a time before the period of the novel, which led to the revelation his mistress. Jordan, simply, is a “rotten driver,” and she nearly hits a worker because of her carelessness (64). After one of Gatsby’s parties, a drunkard drives into a ditch. All the while, he struggles to put what has happened together, and never fully admits responsibility. This foreshadows Daisy’s crash, where she never takes responsibility for killing Myrtle. Altogether, the crashes were the fault of the wealthy. In a way, they contribute to the idea of corrupt carelessness of the upper class. Tom’s crash revealed infidelity, Jordan’s, her brashness, and Daisy’s, her conflict avoidance. None of them paint a positive image on their
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