What Is the Purpose of Color Symbolism in "The Great Gatsby"?


Quick Answer

The purpose of color symbolism in "The Great Gatsby" is to convey the different emotions of F. Scott Fitzgerald's characters and to depict the societal mindset of the time. While the book did not meet with success during the author's time, it has since gone on to be considered one of the greatest literary works in history.

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What Is the Purpose of Color Symbolism in "The Great Gatsby"?
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Full Answer

"The Great Gatsby" is a novel set in a fictional Long Island community and makes use of color symbolism. Fitzgerald used various colors to depict the emotions of his characters as well as to convey a sense of the societal mindset of the upper-class society where the story takes place.

Some of the colors that appear prominently in the work include

  • Pink
  • White
  • Gold
  • Yellow
  • Blue

Fitzgerald uses gold with his Gatsby character to relate him to wealth and happiness. Similarly, the character of Daisy is cast in white to create a similar relation. The author manages to create facades for the characters so that the reader is given the sense that ideas about wealth and happiness are superficial.

Yellow features in various passages related to happiness as well as to violence and negativity. Pink is used throughout to represent dreamers, which is one characterization of the Gatsby character. Blue is offered as a soothing and peaceful contrast to the violence and negativity in a number of passages.

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