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I'd like to know the meaning of "blue nose" in Chapter Six of The Great Gatsby; is it a...

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coutelle | Valedictorian

Posted June 10, 2013 at 2:23 PM via web

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I'd like to know the meaning of "blue nose" in Chapter Six of The Great Gatsby; is it a metaphor? Or does he literally have a blue nose? 

“I’ve never met so many celebrities!” Daisy exclaimed. “I liked that man—what was his name?—with the sort of blue nose.”

Gatsby identified him, adding that he was a small producer.

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted June 10, 2013 at 3:06 PM (Answer #1)

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There is a good deal of color symbolism in Gatsby. The color blue is used often throughout the novel. Since the term "blue nose" is unusual, we should likely look for a metaphorical meaning. 

Blue has been associated, here and elsewhere, with illusion, particularly romantic illusion. In the novel, the color blue is most often mentioned in conjunction with Jay Gatsby himself. 

Think about these associations. Jay Gatz transforms into "Jay Gatsby" when Dan Cody gives him a "blue coat." Blue has also long been associated with the elite, especially royalty, i.e., "blue bloods." 

We can take those two associations, romantic illusion and blue blood, and tie them together with this character and Gatsby himself. The man in question here is a "producer," that is, he works in Hollywood. By trade, then, his job is creating illusion.

As for Gatsby, he too is working in illusion, being something he is not to impress Daisy, who is indeed impressed by status and wealth, as evidenced by her reaction to the "producer." 

Blue here connotes the power of romantic illusion and the power of money. 

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