Great Gatsby Symbolism

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The Great Gatsby symbolizes social disparity in society. Fitzgerald uses colours, objects, the eyes of Dr. T.J Eckleburg, and places, East Egg, West Egg, the Valley of the Ashes to represent abstract ideas and concepts about the division in society. Firstly, major colours are presented in the novel which includes white, grey, and yellow, to examine the institutionalized system of social inequality. White, which is closely associated with Daisy, represents the false interpretation of purity and innocence. The use of colour white in East Egg like “white palaces”, Daisy’s name as a white flower, Daisy’s white car, and Jordan and Daisy wearing “white...dresses rippling and fluttering” (Fitzgerald 8) symbolizes vacuity. Furthermore, white embodies the hollowness and superficiality of the individuals from the upper echelon in the Jazz Age. It implies that although they are rich in material possessions, they are poor in morality. Grey is a neutral colour conveyed in the Valley of the Ashes and a symbol of decadence giving a negative connotation to the readers. Moreover, those who reside in the Valley of the Ashes, such as Myrtle and Tom Wilson represent the lower bracket of society. In addition, yellow is the most common colour that appears in the novel. The hue stands for upper class and noble identities, such as Gatsby’s bright yellow car and golden tie, the “yellow cocktail music” (Fitzgerald 40) playing at Gatsby’s party, and Daisy as the “king’s daughter, the golden girl”
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