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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
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Color Symbolism:

        Color symbolism is found in F. Scott Fitzgerald's major and successful work, The Great Gatsby. The white color is the most significant in the novel. It symbolizes purity, innocence, royalty, but Fitzgerald used it to underline the within of the wealthy people. The innocence portray in The Great Gatsby is superficial. The characters hide their dark and evil side behind the white, like Daisy, one of the main characters in the book. Her name symbolizes a flower: its petals are white, but its inside is yellow, but rather ponsongious. Superficially, Daisy is brittle like a flower, but deep inside her, she is malevolent. She kills an innocent person, who is her husband's, Tom's, mistress. The major theme found in The Great Gatsby is immorality of the people in 1920s, especially the upper class. Daisy, Tom, and Jordan are classified as old money people. They wear white clothes, live in white houses, but they are immoral inside, they have no scruples. They hide behind the white to opaque the darkness within them.

        Another color seen in the novel is yellow. Yellow symbolizes the desire for wealth and old money. In novel, rich people are rotten inside like daisies. The noveau people are also rotten like Gatsby. He became wealthy by committing crimes, which therefore epitomizes a theme of death of the American Dream. Immoral people have all the money in the world and according to the American Dream money should be rewarded through hard work and honesty.

        Another color symbolized in the novel is green. In the novel it symbolizes new money and hope. Gatsby is characterized as a new money person because he lives in a green house and is surrounded by a green lawn. He has hope of repeating the past, a theme also found in the novel. Every night, Gatsby reaches toward the green light on Daisy's dock. In the end of Chapter nine, Nick, the narrator of the story compares the green light to how America, rising out of the ocean, must have looked to early settlers of the new nation.


        Nick Carroway, the narrator of the story, upon his arrival in West Egg makes the distinction between Gatsby, whom he loves because of his dream, and the other characters, which constitute the "foul dust" that "floated in the wake of his dreams." Nick's instantaneous scorn for these "Eastern" types foreshadows all the way to the very end of the novel. It is seen that at the end of the novel it is seen that Nick refuses to deal with the Easterners any longer and decides to return to the Midwest and withdraws from being involved with other people.

        "Suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself." "I hope I never will," she [Jordan] answered. "I hate careless people. That's why I like you." (pg. 63) Jordan explains to Nick how she is able to drive badly as long as everyone else drives carefully. This represents foreshadowing. Fitzgerald is foreshadowing to chapter seven where Daisy kills Myrtle Wilson because of her reckless driving. Fitzgerald uses foreshadowing to reinforce the plot of his book and to help organize the novel. In The Great Gatsby, the structure of the novel is influenced by foreshadowing and flashback. "Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers and set it back in place. I'm sorry about the clock,' he said. 'It's an old clock,' I told him idiotically." (pg. 92) This is the first use of foreshadowing in chapter five. It is associated with all the trouble Gatsby causes as he tries to win Daisy back. The past is present by the clock and how Gatsby wants to repeat it with Daisy. This quotation foreshadows to the end of the novel when Nick is left to tell the story of the dreamer whose dreams were corrupted. In chapter six, Fitzgerald focuses on the first moment of disillusionment which Gatsby has. "Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!" (pg. 116), which foreshadows the entire book and Gatsby's attempts to afflict Daisy for Tom and to put things how they were before he left for the army. It alludes that he must be rich and powerful to do that. Fitzgerald foreshadows the death of Gatsby at the beginning of chapter seven. "I couldn't sleep all night; a fog-horn was groaning incessantly on the Sound, and I tossed half sick between grotesque reality and savage frightening dreams. I heard a taxi go up Gatsby's drive and immediately I jumped out of bed and began too dress- I felt that I had something to tell him, something to warn him about and morning would be too late." (pg.154) Fitzgerald foreshadows Wilson's involvement when his wife died. "He murdered her." "It was an accident, George." Wilson shook his head. His eyes narrowed and his mouth widened slightly with the ghost of superior 'Hm!' "(pg. 166)


        Flashback is also used in The Great Gatsby. Jordan remembers when she met Gatsby with Daisy for the first time and how they were in love. "One October day in nineteen- seventeen.....The largest of the banners and the largest of the lawns belonged to Daisy Fay's house. She was just eighteen...His name was Jay Gatsby and I didn't lay eyes on him again for over four years." (pg. 80) Jordan tells about the first time and the last time that she saw Gatsby with Daisy. In chapter eight, Nick has a flashback to the night of Myrtle's death and starts narrating the story of what occurred after her death. "Now I want to go back a little and tell what happened at the garage after we left there the night before." (pg. 163) Nick narrates how Wilson thought he had found out who killed his wife. Nick depicts Wilson killing Gatsby in the pool and then Wilson killing himself. Chapter nine has another flashback. Nick looks back at the night of Gatsby's death and when all the policemen were at Gatsby's house. "After two years I remember the rest of that day, and that night and the next day, only as an endless drill of police and photographers and newspaper men in and out of Gatsby's front door." (pg.171) Nick then goes into another flashback when he is trying to call people to come to Gatsby's funeral. When the butler brought back Wolfshiem's answer I began to have a feeling of defiance.....The third day that a telegram signed Henry C. Gatz arrived from a town in Minnesota...It was Gatsby's father.(pg. 175) Flashback in The Great Gatsby also helps to give the reader background information about the characters. Flashback helped to understand Gatsby's relentless pursuit his dream.


        A metaphor is defined as an implied comparison between two things of unlike nature. A breeze blew through the room, blue curtains in at one end and out the other twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of a ceiling, and the rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it"- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Period 6 English World Literature Author