The party of Chapter 3 is a tableau of the Jazz Age which F. Scott Fitzgerald criticizes in his novel, The Great Gatsby. Painted symbolically with colors, this tableau's dominant color is yellow, the symbol of decay and decadence. For instance, the orchestra plays "yellow cocktail music." This use of synaesthesia--using one sense to describe another--merges the sensory images so that, mixed with the "robin's egg blue" of the chauffeur's uniform, the green light, and the "gas blue evening gown" and the "gaudy primary colors," the setting is garish, unreal, frivolous, and decadent--just as was the Jazz Age.
In the midst of this kaleidoscope of colors "under a constantly changing light," there is the symbol of wealth, the automobile. In addition to his yellow station wagon, Gatsby's Rolls Royce becomes an "omnibus" for his superficial and artificial and duplicated guests:
...we sat down at a table with the two girls n yellow and three men, each one introduced to us as Mr. Mumble.....
'I like to come,' Lucille said. 'I never care what I do, so I always have a good time.'
....We all turned and looked around for Gatsby. It was testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there wer whispers about him from those who had found little that was necessary to whisper about in this world.
Then there is the one that Owl Eyes, who insists that he knows little about driving, ends up with a wheel off, although he tries to drive. This accident seems to foreshadow the latter, tragic accident that occurs when Daisy drives Gatsby's automobile as
A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host who stood on the porch.
As the evening wanes, the moon rises in the skies, and "floating in the Sound was a triangle of silver scales. Old men dance with "flappers" until "The Jazz History of the World" is played. Transported into the Jazz Age by what T. S. Eliot called "the object correlative," the reader experiences vicariously the sounds and sights of the age.
The evening of the party continues as wives are taken home "kicking into the night" and there is a "violent confusion of the scene."