What Does The Color White Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

739 Words3 Pages

Savanah Johnson
Patrick Lynch
English 11
5 May 2023
Spiritually Empty Fitzgerald’s universe in The Great Gatsby represents all that is least noble, least worthy and least heroic in mankind. He achieves this through “rotten” characters and through the use of color symbolism. Jay Gatsby lives in a fantasy world of his own creation and nothing more. He spends all his time transcending Jay Gatz to become Jay Gatsby. Tom Buchanan is a liar and controlling; in other worlds, he wears a facade. The colors white and grey are used in the story to represent the results of Naturalism, taming the reader back from fantasy and down to the natural forces the book will follow. The Great Gatsby is a work of Modernism.
For example, Jay Gatsby is completely lost in his dream and lives only for that dream in his outward appearance to become the Jay Gatsby of his large dream. In a children’s book, Gatsby writes, …show more content…

The color white is proved to be bleak in the line when Daisy “[W]anted her life shaped now, immediately—and the decision must be made by some force…” (Fitzgerald 161). The color grey tethers the reader back down to earth in the sentence, “This is a valley of ashes… a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track…” (Fitzgerald 26). The colors' double-meanings are similar to that of “A Mystery of Heroism,” which indirectly insists that life is a grim losing battle and natural forces will influence one’s life. The color white, associated with Daisy, is described as “[E]mpty, vacuity, superficiality, ruthlessness and selfish to a great extent in the novel” (Haibing 42). The color grey is only ever used when describing real world’s “[D]ecadence, bleakness, corruption and disillusionment…” (Haibing 43). Grey and white are present in the story just to remind the reader that not everything is meaningful or

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