The Great Gatsby Color Usage Essay

The Great Gatsby Color Usage BY seant3737 Sean Timmons October 25, 2013 Mr. Fitzpatrick 1B English Gaudy, Bogus Yellow Throughout The Great Gatsby, a plethora of colors can be found. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s color usage is notorious in The Great Gatsby, and the most interesting color play was on the color yellow. Yellow is used in key portions in the book to represent fake, superficial, and counterfeit things. In comparison, gold is used to show purity, wealth, and grandness. In the modern world, money can be associated with three colors: gold, green, and the occasional yellow.

Gold is a pure and natural element of the Earth that serves as a universal sign of wealth. Green, at least in the United States, is almost synonymous with the dollar. In contrast to both gold and green, yellow represents something fake, artificial wealth. Yellow is like a cheap plastic ring from a quarter machine in the world of cold hard gold; yellow is all show on the surface, but has no substance. Through the majority of the book, Daisy and Jordan were described with angelic and majestic qualities. In numerous occasions is Daisy referred to as the “golden irl”, or wears golden clothes or accessories.

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Along with Daisy is Jordan, who is once called the “golden girl of golf” and has a “slender golden arm” and “golden shoulder”. The extensive incorporation of the color gold into the descriptions of Daisy and Jordan was intentional and done to highlight their uppity separation from the norm. Another, yet not so obvious example of Fitzgerald’s use of gold is the windows in the Buchanan’s home, which “[glow]… with reflected gold” as Nick describes them. Simply, this means that the windows are gold, either solid gold or gold cover.

But deeper, one can say that these glowing golden windows represents Tom’s old money status. Again gold is used when Nick describes his new “volumes on banking and credit and investment securities, and they stood on [his] shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew. ” This description symbolizes the pure knowledge of books. In particular, Nicks books are meant to be used to help a person learn beneficial skills in becoming financially sound.


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