Yellow Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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People believe being wealthy means having everything, which then is believed to make people happy. It really leads to a draining and corroding life. Yellow is said to be the color of depravity, representing acts like death, but is also is similar to the wealthy color gold. Yellow is an artificial representation of wealth and a portrayal of corruption and death in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby.
Gold is used to describe wealth, while yellow is a flawed gold. Anything yellow is limited to ever becoming more. Daisy is described as “the golden girl”, but a Daisy is yellow at the core (120). Although she is rich and gets everything one could desire, she is flawed. Daisy also runs over Myrtle in Gatsby’s yellow car, which he only ever bought
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Yellow surrounds Gatsby enormously; his car at the beginning of the novel is described as “a rich cream color”, but it is not white, which is a sign that it’s already impure (64). Later, after killing Myrtle, Gatsby’s car is described as “a big yellow car”, completing its corruption (139). The color of Gatsby’s car was also unusual for that time period, making the car stand out and helping the trail of death lead to Gatsby. The last time readers see yellow attached to Gatsby is at the near end of the novel, right before he dies when he “disappeared among the yellowing trees” representing his own coming death (161). An area surrounding loss of life is The Valley of Ashes; The Wilson home “was a small block of yellow brick sitting on the edge of a waste land” where the Wilsons have a terrible life (24). In front of this building is also where Myrtle is killed. After Myrtle is murdered, Wilson looks at the billboard of T.J. Eckleburg, saying “God sees everything” but T.J. Eckleburg wore “a pair of enormous yellow spectacles” which gives it an ungodly and deathly presence (160; 23). Myrtle being killed by a yellow car, outside of a yellow building, while Eckleburg watches with yellow spectacles is no coincidence, it’s largely an example of death.
Yellow is an artificial representation of wealth and a portrayal of corruption and death. The multiple times yellow is mentioned make the corruption of it express how terrible the events in The Great Gatsby really were. Wealth, no matter how important an appearance it has, cannot fulfill a life and make a demeaning impact on lives until their
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