Color Symbolism in the Great Gatsby

Everything in our world has a greater meaning than what we see at first glance and the vast spectrum of color is a prime example of how a simple color which doesn’t look like much to begin with, can mean something deeper to each person who interprets it in a different way. In the book The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses the color green to support the idea of the American Dream. The American Dream is the ability for a person of any race, ethnicity, or age to prosper and succeed in the United States of America. Jay Gatsby stands as a living symbol of the American Dream. The American Dream is the hope that people cling to when they are reaching for things that are clearly out of their realm. This “dream” allows people with ambition to reach their goals no matter how unlikely or impossible they may seem; likewise with Jay Gatsby.

Gatsby’s dreams lead to his wealth and success. Even as a young boy, Gatsby knew that he was born to do something greater than being an unsuccessful farmer in North Dakota; not unlike his parents who were,“ shiftless and unsuccessful farm people– his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all” (Fitzgerald 104). All the success that Gatsby earns, whether it be through good or bad intentions, was done with Daisy on his mind. The only reason that the billionaire buys a Normandy Hotel de Ville look-alike mansion was to be close to Daisy. All his hard work is done with the intention to impress Daisy. When he gets the chance to finally reunite with her once again, “It was a strange coincidence… But it wasn’t a coincidence at all… Why not?… Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay” (Fitzgerald 83).

Gatsby embodies the life of someone who has completed and achieved the American Dream. Gatsby never had the intention of becoming consumed by the American Dream. His only ambition came from wanting to win back Daisy’s love. After being rejected by her for being poor, he went five years; begging her to wait for him because he knew that one day he would be something greater. He believed in himself, but unfortunately, Daisy did not. She was concerned with status and money so when Tom came into town, he swept her off her feet. Gatsby still continued to hope Daisy would arrive at the conclusion that she loved him for than Tom and his money. He was hoping she loved him more than any other man she had ever met, “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night… but she never did” (Fitzgerald 84). Gatsby lives out the life of a person who was able to live with a legacy of knowing that he had fit the American Dream. Everyone saw him as a young, handsome, smart, generous, and wealthy man. No matter how bad the rumors spread on behalf of his name, everyone was full of jealousy due to his one of a kind lifestyle and fortune.

Colors can have different meanings to every person. In the book The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the color green supports the idea of the American Dream. The American dream is an idea that has really been distorted by people’s greed and ambitions which has led to society as a whole to think that money and luxury is the key for people to be happy. What we as a nation need is to rethink what we represent and what we strive for which equal opportunity and respect for each individual.

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Color symbolism in the great gatsby. (2021, May 21). Retrieved September 23, 2022 , from

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