The Great Gatsby

Trace the use of the color white in the novel. When does it falsify a sense of innocence? When does it symbolize true innocence?

the great gatsby

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1) morally unblemished

2) honorable '

"High in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl" (Daisy, p. 115). When Nick Carraway visited the Buchanan he met two young women, of course Daisy and Jordan "They were both in white" (p. 13). Even the windows at Daisy's house are white "The windows were ajar and gleaming white" (p. 13). "Our white girlhood was passed together there. Our beautiful white" (Daisy and Jordan, p. 24). "they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight" (Daisy and Gatsby, p. 106). In a El-Greco-like picture at the end of the novel "four solemn men in dress suits are walking along the sidewalk with a stretcher on which lies a drunken woman in a white evening dress" (p. 167). "His heart beat faster as Daisy's white face came up to his own" (p. 107).

Fitzgerald uses the color white for the real West, although he doesn't even mention the name of the color. "When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow" (p. 166). At the end of the novel ["the party was over" (p. 171), like the end of the Jazz Age at the Great Depression 1929] somebody soiled Gatsby's house. "On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight, and I erased it" (p. 171). A couple of years later Jerome D. Salinger uses this metaphor and Holden Caulfield erases at the end of The Catcher in the Rye ( Rezension) an obscene word, written at the wall. But time changes: Fitzgerald just called it "obscene", twentyfive years later Salinger named it.


Here is some more information related specifically to innocence.

In the beginning of the story, the reader can see that F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the color white when he refers to Daisy and Jordan. “They were both in white” (p.8) Even the windows at Daisy's house are white "The windows were ajar and gleaming white" (p. 8).Daisy’s character is enhanced by Fitzgerald’s use of the color white to indicate Daisy’s freshness and innocence. Fitzgerald evokes two meanings of white: one is the traditional meaning of purity; the second is the empowerment of whiteness. Daisy, as she is initially presented, represents both privilege and purity, a kind of princess figure. However, the different shades of white indicate that Daisy may not be an embodiment of purity and that privilege may have a corrupting effect, at least when it is used to veil or whitewash misdeeds. This example corresponds precisely to the presentation of Daisy's character through color symbolism.