The Great Gatsby the Color White: Symbol of Tarnish?

1084 words 5 pages
The Color White: Tainted?
The color white is oftentimes unanimously associated with purity, hope, and innocence. However, in the Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the color has the deeper meaning of false purity over goodness. With the taboo characteristics that Fitzgerald's white carries, the reader is led to a false sense of security throughout the course of the novel; just how far was this rebel of a writer willing to go to break down borders? It is later found out that the symbol of white very much plays into the ironic theme of illusion versus reality. The characters in the novel are not the only ones dumbfounded at the confusion of life; things are not in the norm anymore, and Fitzgerald's new use of the color white
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However, "She was incurably dishonest. She wasn't able to endure being at a disadvantage, and given this unwillingness I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep the cool insolent smile turned towards the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard jaunty body" (63), which further implies that Daisy is not really a "white" character symbolically. Like an egg, she was only white on her shell, but inside she was yellow with corruption and greed. As Tom says early on in the novel: "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved" (18), which is irony at its best. He sets himself up in that comment; as the novel progresses, major irony comes into play, in that the reader finds out that white in this book was all just for show, and was not as perfect as everyone thought. Not only the color white, but maybe the "white" race in general: Fitzgerald perhaps gave deeper meaning of Tom's comment in saying that the white race was not without flaw; maybe the white race also went hand-in-hand with the color white portrayed in the novel: greedy, corrupt, and sinful.
Indeed, color symbolism is not very noticeable, yet it can tell a great deal about a story. In this case, the colors give the reader a look at the