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In  Chapter 5 of "The Great Gatsby," why is Gatsby dressed in a gold tie and...

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undertaker | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 7, 2008 at 5:52 AM via web

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In  Chapter 5 of "The Great Gatsby," why is Gatsby dressed in a gold tie and silver shirt?


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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 7, 2008 at 8:41 AM (Answer #1)

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Symbols abound in this novel, and color symbolism is used extensively.  The use of Gatsby's gold tie and silver shirt represents wealth and prestige.  Both colors are flashy and shiny, calling attention to himself for his newfound riches.  The author dresses him in white and silver very often which represents false purity.  He wants to be seen as pure, desirable, and wealthy in order to win Daisy's heart back over to him as she was his in the past.  However, he is not pure.  He has gained his wealth illegally, and he knows--as Tom does--that if Daisy ever learned of the methods of his gained wealth, she would never leave Tom.

Other colors to be aware of in the novel are:  *green--something to hope for and reach for (think the green light at the end of Daisy's dock which can be seen from Gatsby's house).  Gatsby is also hoping for and reaching out for Daisy's heart. Green also represents the color of money and wealth which is a central theme in the book.  *gray--the color of dreariness and gloom.  Think the Valley of Ashes where Myrtle lives with her husband...everything is gray and covered in dust.  It symbolizes the lack of life and spirit. *yellow--represents corruption and decay.  Gatsby's car is yellow which is representative of his own moral decay and the corruption by which his wealth has been gained.  It is also the method of death for Myrtle. *red--represents death and blood.  Both the deaths of Myrtle and Gatsby are very bloody and violent.


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unterio21 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 4, 2012 at 4:34 PM (Answer #2)

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To show wealth

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