Symbols of Great Gatsby Essay

Submitted By nickbriggles
Words: 896
Pages: 4

The Great Gatsby, written in 1922 has gone on to become one of the most famous, top selling novels of all time, having been remade into a cinematic feature for a third time this year. The books success has panned out from the time it was written, not initially well accepted by its audience. Later after F. Scott Fitzgerald had passed away the book went on to become one of the most analyzed and studied books by scholars and young students for its rich symbolism. The heavy exposure to students for many years I believe is a huge contributor towards The Great Gatsby’s success. Colours were seen as very meaningful in this time period, much more than they are to this day. They are used to represent various aspects of social status such as fashion, style and class. When Nick Carraway arrives at Tom’s mansion to visit Daisy and Tom Buchanan, Daisy is outfitted in an all white dress, which symbolizes her innocence. Throughout the story Gatsby wears many different suits, all of which are colours such as shades of gold and silver. This is one of the many ways Gatsby portrays his wealth in an effort to distinguish himself as a man of means. The Valley of Ashes reflects only the opposites of this lifestyle, as it is the poor working class is presented as a dull grey town. In a further attempt to gain Daisy’s attention again Gatsby fashions a powerful green light that he keeps off the docks facing towards the Buchanan’s mansion (pg 22), which can always be seen at night by Daisy. The glowing light never fades over all the years Gatsby lives there, and is a symbol for passion and love he feels for Daisy, which never fades over the five years they have been apart. “The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight, and turning my head to watch it, I saw that I was not alone--fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor's mansion with his hands in his pockets . . . “ (Fitzgerald, 21). A strong contrast to the whites of Daisy in the early novel are the blacks and dark shades that associate with Gatsby when he is first introduced in the novel, appearing quiet and mysterious in the dark of his balcony looking towards Daisy’s home across the water. A black silhouette of a cat crosses the moon as he appears. This is a prime example of the author’s use of colour and colour contrast to add a more dynamic effect to the story. Time serves many functions in the world of The Great Gatsby. In fact, Gatsby is living in the past, as he cannot grip losing Daisy to Tom Buchanan, even five years later. Gatsby has done everything in his life in an attempt to impress or even get Daisy’s attention. He cannot move on or see any reason too. Throwing parties every weekend in the hopes Daisy might arrive, ordering decadent fruits and flowers to his home every week just to flaunt his class, and none of it to his benefit. Gatsby’s fortune acquired only to undermine the difference in class between himself and Daisy. Gatsby’s entire lifestyle and persona comes off as fake throughout the novel giving the impression he really was just a working class kid who broke big and acts like old money to act relevant to the people of East Egg. What he fails to…