Using examples from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, decide what color would Daisy be associated with and explain how the color imagery helps the reader gain a deeper understanding of...

Using examples from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, decide what color would Daisy be associated with and explain how the color imagery helps the reader gain a deeper understanding of the character. How do color connotations apply to Daisy? How does Fitzgerald use particular colors to illuminate specific character traits?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Daisy can certainly be associated with green as it is the color of money. For Gatsby, this has always been part of the allure because he has always associated winning Daisy's heart with having money. Remember that he feels he must be financially stable to even attempt to win Daisy over. But over the course of his admiration of her from afar (and over five years), Gatsby's plan to win her involves accumulating money and prestige in order to impress her. Note also that Daisy married Tom and money had something to do with that decision. Daisy is concerned with money as much as Gatsby is concerned with obtaining it in order to impress her. In Chapter 7, Gatsby even says, "her voice is full of money." Following this quote, Nick elaborates and adds two more colors to describe Daisy: white and gold. 

That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it…. High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl….

For Gatsby, Daisy is the American Dream. There are associations of gold with monetary value and gold as in some ultimate trophy. The white palace is the princess in a castle, in a place and social strata seemingly unreachable. But in the spirit of the American Dream, for Gatsby, anything is possible. This is the irony; anything is possible, but the extent to which Gatsby goes to reclaim Daisy ultimately lead to tragedy. 

The other significant instance of green is the green light at the end of the Dock near Daisy's home. For Gatsby, the green light was a symbol for Daisy, a lighthouse beckoning him and teasing him at the same time. When he finally meets her again, she replaces the symbol. "His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one." The green light is a romantic symbol but it is intertwined with the symbol of money and success. This is Gatsby's conflation but it also is Daisy's. She is drawn to money, even if only for financial stability. For both, money (green) is connected to life, success, and indirectly, love. 

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