In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway, the protagonist, lives in West Egg, which represents new money. Nick lives next to Jay Gatsby, who has an enormous house. Nick learns that Gatsby is in love with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, who lives on the opposite side of the bay in East Egg. Gatsby was initially in a relationship with Daisy, but after he left to serve for his country, Daisy got married with Tom, a very wealthy man with “old money”, which is a social class Gatsby will never be able to reach. Tom also has a side chick named Myrtle that admires his wealth. After some great hesitancy with Gatsby, Tom gets both Daisy and Gatsby together where they briefly fall in love. Further down the line, Gatsby is confronted by Tom for loving his wife, where Daisy is put on the spot with who she decides to stay with. Daisy drives Gatsby’s car and accidentally kills a woman, which turns out to be Myrtle. Mr. Wilson, Myrtle’s previous husband, is horrendously told by Tom that it was Gatsby who killed her. Following the indisputable evidence previously in the story which shows Daisy’s love for money, she sticks with Tom and practically ignores the existence of Gatsby there forward. In pure vengeance and grief, Mr. Wilson shoots Gatsby and then proceeds to kill himself. Proceeding the shooting, barely anyone shows up to Gatsby’s funeral and Daisy continues on life without even acknowledging Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the color white to symbolize the representation of social class, the illusion of purity, and the power of innocence within the lives of his tragic characters in The Great Gatsby.White is used constantly throughout the novel to represent a prestigious social class. East Egg contains the very rich that represent the high status “old money”, where”…white palaces…glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans” (5). White is being used to represent the prosperity of the people in East Egg, being born into wealth giving it the name “old money”. On the other hand, West Egg represents “new money”, which falls at a lower ranking on the social class scale. When Daisy comes to Nick’s house in West Egg to finally see Gatsby after five years, Gatsby wears a suit that is white. “An hour later the front door opened nervously and Gatsby in a white flannel suit, silver shirt and gold-colored tie hurried in”(89). Gatsby wears white in an attempt to show Daisy that he is as high in the social class as the others in East Egg. Despite never being able to reach the “old money”, he’s trying his hardest to get as close as possible in portraying that life. Gatsby new from the start that he was never going to permanently get Daisy, but the fact that he was going after a woman that was previously obtained by Tom who lives in East Egg, he’s getting closer to reaching the “old money”. By using white, Gatsby is attempting to portray a higher social class than what he’s in. Not only is white used to represent social status, but is also used to show the illusion of purity.Through the use of white, F. Scott Fitzgerald is able to portray an illusion of purity in his tragic characters. Daisy and Jordan and first tied to the color white inside of Tom’s house. “The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house”(8). Representing the illusion of purity, they’re using the color white to show the mirage which everyone in the Buchanan house is putting on for the outside world. But this perception quickly changes when Daisy’s “…white girlhood was passed together there. Our beautiful white…”(19). Daisy is trying to verbally convey her purity, but readers know that she is a careless high-born woman of the roaring twenties, showing her corruption. Jordan Baker puts on a white powder to make her paler. “Jordan’s fingers, powdered white over their tan, rested for a moment in mine”(116). Jordan putting a white powder over her raw skin symbolizes fakeness and illusion of goodness, she is covering up her true self just like Daisy. By using the color white, Daisy and Jordan are putting up a show to the world that they’re pure, but are truly the exact opposite. Besides white portraying the illusion of purity, Fitzgerald also uses it to show innocence.White is used to represent the power of innocence within Daisy. Daisy is correlated with the color white during her youth. Daisy’s “…white girlhood was passed together there. Our beautiful white…”(19). The use of white is used to show Daisy’s innocence during her juvenile years. She recollects her youth as filled with innocence, being shielded from society and filled with money. Later on, after being married with Tom, she’s also tied to the faultless color white. Daisy is “…high in a white palace the king’s daughter…” (120). By using the analogy of Daisy in a “palace”, it shows her innocence as she is protected in her castle from all the common poor people below her in the social ladder. As the Merriam Webster states it, a place is “the official residence of a chief of state (such as a monarch or a president)”. As Tom and Daisy both believe in their ideology of being at the top of the social class, Daisy is protected by all those below by using white to convey her innocence. The use of white is used to paint a clear picture in the readers’ minds on the true reality of the characters. By using the color white, Fitzgerald is able to to symbolize the representation of social class, the illusion of purity, and the power of innocence within the lives of his disastrous characters in The Great Gatsby. Using white shows the deeper motive behind the characters and what they’re trying to do. No matter how hard someone tries to portray a false reality, sooner or later they’re true self will shine through.
September 15, 2019 0 Comments