The Great Gatsby Essay

Submitted By Olesya1111
Words: 1003
Pages: 5

Olesya Shturypita
English 10H, Period—8
Miss Jambard
March 12, 2014
Rough Draft

The Yellow Decay

Colors are a big part of the world around us. They carry special messages to describe something that words cannot. Also, colors can symbolize many things. For example, artists use different colors on their paintings to express special messages to people. They use dark black to emphasize sadness or light green to express happiness. F. Scott Fitzgerald is like an artist too, because his novel The Great Gatsby is full of different colors. Every color in his writing has its own meaning. One of the strongest colors the author uses is the color yellow. In the novel The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the color yellow throughout the story to accuraly portray the moral deterioration, corruption and depravity in people’s life during the 1920’s. Fitzgerald utilizes the color yellow to depict moral deterioration in society during his times. The author writes, “The lamp-light, bright on his boots and dull on the autumn-leaf yellow of her hair (18).” In this passage, Fitzgerald is referring to Tom and Daisy Buchanan. He is signifying that Tom is slowly progressing toward moral decay. In the novel, there are many situations which prove that Tom is in fact, morally declining. First, Tom is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson. He is married himself and perfectly knows that his mistress has a husband too. However, he still breaks all the rules and cheats on his wife. Second, Tom does not like Gatsby and tries to prove that Gatsby is not really who he is. He actually goes as far as hiring a detective to prove Gatsby’s true personality. The other example of the use of the color yellow is with Gatsby’s car. In the novel, he has a Rolls Royce automobile that was yellow in color. "His station wagon scampered like a yellow brisk-bug (39).” Gatsby's car was referred to many times in the novel, but it was always referred to as "The yellow car (157)." Doctor T. J Eckleburg is wearing yellow glasses, representing the moral wasteland of American Society as well as of the lives of the characters and novels that he views through his glasses. Moral deterioration is shown in this novel by the author’s use of yellow color when talking about Tom’s moral decay, Gatsby’s car and Doctor T. J Eckleburg’s glasses. Furthermore, the use of color yellow helps Fitzgerald to portray the corruption in his novel, The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby, who is the main character in this novel, had many honorable intentions; however, he allowed his desire for wealth to cause him to become a part of the world of organized crime. Gatsby’s world is filled with yellow corruption. His life is full of yellow money, yellow car, yellow parties. He drives a yellow Rolls-Royce, the car that caused the death of Myrtle Wilson. During his parties he had yellow cocktails. Also two girls in yellow dresses visit his parties frequently, who took part of illegal drinking. Jay Gatsby has mob ties in the city of Chicago, and when Nick returns to the Midwest, the sight of the dark yellow cars of Chicago embeds itself in his memory. Gatsby was a man who knew what he wanted. He wanted Daisy and the best way to attract her attention was to throw expensive parties and hope she will visit them one day. Even though it seems like a good idea, the way he earned his money wasn’t that positive. Gatsby gets in terrible activities, such as bootlegging and lies. He would do anything to get the wealth that he thought would win over Daisy Buchanan. Fittingly, the last time Gatsby was seen alive, he "disappeared among the yellowing trees (169)." F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of color yellow reveals Gatsby’s corruptive life…