Symbolism in The Great Gatsby. Color Symbolism Golden : richness, or happy/prosperous (golden days, golden age), also represents success, and something that is extremely valuable
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Color Symbolism • Golden: richness, or happy/prosperous (golden days, golden age), also represents success, and something that is extremely valuable example: “With Jordan’s slender, golden arm resting in mine” Daisy is called “the golden girl” Gatsby wears a gold tie; * often the golden color will turn gray showing that the “richness” is only a cover • Silver: jewelry and richness; moonlight and stars are often silver: “…the silver pepper of the stars…” (25) “The moon had risen higher, and the floating in the sound was a triangle of silver scales” ( 48). • Yellow: represents wealth and extravagance of the wealthy class; how careless this upper class is; shows the snobbery connected between money and its possessor; corruption * Gatsby’s car is yellow; Jordan’s hair is “Autumn leaf yellow,” two girls at a Gatsby party wear yellow dresses; Daisy’s daughter has “old, yellow hair”
Color Symbolism, cont. White:morally unblemished, honorable * Jordan and Daisy are wearing white when Nick first meets them; before he knows their true character; white is also the main color of the clothes both Nick and Gatsby wear; In The Great Gatsby, white is usually a cover for something a bit more corrupt. Blue: represents Gatsby’sillusions -- his deeply romantic dreams of unreality. The color blue is associated with Gatsby more than any other character. *His gardens are blue, his chauffeur wears blue, the water separating him from Daisy is his "blue lawn" (9.150), mingled with the "blue smoke of brittle leaves" in his yard. The romantic blue is associated with the promise, the dream, that Gatsby mistakes for his reality. Red:Shows up most often with white and yellow. Represents the ugliness of reality as seen in the novel; represents the violence that is associated with many characters in the novel. *Nick tells the reader that he "bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities, and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew."
Color Symbolism, cont. Green: used to represent hope, the achievement of the American Dream;at the end of Chapter I, Gatsby is seen stretching his arms out toward the green, or what could be seen as, the future. Grey:used to show dullness in things or people; or ideas that are not important. The Valley of Ashes provides the setting for most uses of the color. Gray most prominently symbolizes the utter hopelessness that thrives within the Valley of Ashes. Sometimes more vibrant colors in the book ( gold) will turn to gray, showing the falseness behind what appears to be reality.
Your Task… 1. In your groups of three, you will be assigned a specific color. 2. Your group must peruse chapters 1 and 2 looking for specific incidences of the use of your color (even if the color is mentioned along with another color). You should find at least five quotes. If you are assigned two colors, at least eight quotes: four for one color, four for the other. 3. On your poster board, you are to write down the quote; underneath the quote, write a brief summary of HOW this color is being used in context, what you think Fitzgerald is accomplishing through the use of the color. 4. One person in the group is responsible for drawing an image that best represents the use of the quote. You may use different mediums to do this ( collage, drawing, etc.) _______________________ How you will be graded Neatness: _____/10 Quote Requirement: ____/25 In-depthness of summary: ____/40 Creativity: _____/10 Group Work: _____/15
Location Symbolism West Egg: Represents the newly rich, or “New Money”. This is where Nick Carroway and Jay Gatsby live. East Egg: Represents the old Aristocracy “old money”. This is where Tom and Daisy Buchanan live.
Location Symbolism, cont. The Valley of Ashes: lies Between West Egg and New York; stretch of land created by dumping of industrial Ash from New York City. Represents moral and social decay caused by pursuit of wealth, and the wealthy Caring only for their pleasure. Also symbolizes the difficulties of the poor; The only poor characters in the novel live in The Valley of Ashes.
Location Symbolism, cont. The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg: Literally, it is a billboard sign Located in the Valley of Ashes; Figuratively, represents God staring down at His people and judging the 1920’s American society as a “moral wasteland.”