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COLOUR SYMBOLISM IN THE GREAT GATSBY. YELLOW (or Gold) Yellow typically represents new life & new beginnings It also represent cowardliness (yellow belly)

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Presentation on theme: "COLOUR SYMBOLISM IN THE GREAT GATSBY. YELLOW (or Gold) Yellow typically represents new life & new beginnings It also represent cowardliness (yellow belly)"— Presentation transcript:

1 COLOUR SYMBOLISM IN THE GREAT GATSBY

2 YELLOW (or Gold) Yellow typically represents new life & new beginnings It also represent cowardliness (yellow belly) Golden stands for 1) richness or royalty, but also 2) happy or prosperous: golden days; golden age 3) successful: the golden girl of tennis 4) extremely valuable: a golden opportunity At Gatsby's parties even the turkeys turn to gold: "..turkeys bewitched to a dark gold" (41). Jordan Baker - the golden girl of golf - is also associated with this colour: "With Jordan's slender golden arm resting in mine" (44); "I put my arm around Jordan's golden shoulder" (77).

3 YELLOW Yellow in general means corruptness and things that go bad. Yellow leaves represent decay and corruptness. The yellow of Gatsbys car represents corrupt dishonesty and deception.

4 GOLD With a few sentences Fitzgerald throws a light at the turbulent months while Daisy is waiting for Gatsby during the war: "All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the Beale Street Blues while a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust. At the grey tea hour..." (144). Here even the dust in the rooms, usually grey, is shining, while the usually golden tea is served at the grey tea hour. We find this contrast between golden and grey once more in "we went about opening the rest of the windows downstairs, filling the house with grey-turning, gold- turning light" (144).

5 Yellow & Gold Sometimes the gold at Gatsby's house turns to yellow. Thus, the richness is only a cover, a short sensation, like the yellow press (journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers) for the more offensively sensational press: "now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music" (42). In contrast to the golden girl Jordan, her admirers are only yellow: "two girls in twin yellow dresses (44) You don't know who we are, said one of the girls in yellow, but we met you here about a month ago (44) "... we sat down at a table with the two girls in yellow (44) Remarkably Daisy's daughter has old and yellow hair: "Did mother get powder on your old yellowy hair?" (111).

6 GOLD Gold represents wealth, but, more so, the show of wealth. Gatsby tried to win Daisy back by his parties and the show of wealth.

7 WHITE Gatsby has two important experiences in his life before the story starts: 1)Dan Cody with his yacht: "that yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world (96). 2)Daisy Fay. She wears white clothes and has a white car.

8 WHITE White stands for: innocence & purity morally unblemished honorable "His heart beat faster as Daisy's white face came up to his own" (107).

9 WHITE In the novel, white is the color that has the deeper meaning of false purity or goodness. Daisy and Jordan are always seen in white. Also, Gatsby, when he wanted to meet Daisy again for the first time in 5 years, he wore a white suit as if to show that he was good and pure.

10 WHITE About Daisys voice: It was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it…High in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl" (115). When Nick Carraway visits the Buchanans for the first time he meets two young women, of course being Daisy and Jordan: "They were both in white" (13). Even the windows at Daisy's house are white: "The windows were ajar and gleaming white" (13). "Our white girlhood was passed together there. Our beautiful white" (Daisy and Jordan, 24). They came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight" (Daisy and Gatsby, 106).

11 WHITE Fitzgerald uses the colour white for the real West, although he doesn't even mention the name of the color: "When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow" (166). At the end of the novel ["the party was over" (171), like the end of the Jazz Age at the Great Depression in 1929], signified when somebody soils Gatsby's house: "On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight, and I erased it" (171).

12 GREEN Green stands for: Experience Greed (money) Envy Jealousy You cant always get what you want (The Rolling Stones)

13 GREEN Fitzgerald used the colour green to signify "not faded", like in "a green old age", or for hope (or for wanting what you cant have): "I glanced seaward – and distinguished nothing except a single green light" (25). This green light is across the sea where Buchanan's house is supposed to be. Gatsby said: "You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock" (90), which represents ones dreams (or unattainable dreams) "Now it was again a green light on a dock" (90) "...when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock" (171) Hope for the future: "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us" (171). Later the whole water between Gatsby and Daisy gets green: "On the green Sound, stagnant in the heat,.."

14 GREEN Green represents so many things in this novel. One main thing it means is something to hope for, to reach out for, and a hope of something new, like the green light that is at the end of Daisys and Toms dock. In the first chapter Gatsby is reaching out for the light. He is reaching out for his hope of Daisy and a life with her. Green also represents wealth and prosperity. And both of these meanings correlate with each other because in the book, wealth is something to hope for and to reach out for.

15 GREY Grey is the color for dreariness. It symbolizes the lack of life and/or spirit. It is the place of no hope, no future. In the novel, this place is called the valley of ashes where everything is covered in grey dust - even the people. This would not be a place where you would want to be.

16 GREY Gatsby's ideal is grey and empty. WHY? The Wilsons, living in the valley of ashes, appear in grey, except for Myrtle, when she enjoys the company of Tom Buchanan. Wilson is "mingling immediately with the cement color of the walls. A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit and his pale hair as it veiled everything in the vicinity – except his wife, who moved close to Tom" (28). The only way for Myrtle to get out of the grey seems to be Tom Buchanan. HOW?


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