The Great Gatsby: Read the Rainbow

The Significance of Color in The Great Gatsby


The color blue in The Great Gatsby tends to be somewhat ambiguous. However, the color itself is most closely associated with the character of Jay Gatsby. Notably, the color often revolves around the Illusions and distance from reality that Gatsby displays. For example, much of his personal belongings, like his garden, lawn, and much of his house. Also, in his transformation to Jay Gatsby from James Gatz Cody buys him things such as a blue jacket, which may symbolize his transformation into a disillusioned millionaire. Also, the color of Tom Buchanan's coupe is blue, which could show how the fantasy world of the characters comes crashing down.

Yellow/ Gold

An obvious meaning for the color gold is wealth. Many of the wealthy characters of the book are referred to as gold. For example, Daisy is referred to as "The Golden Girl" in chapter 3, while her cohort Jordan is referred to as having "slender golden arms." Yellow represents things similar to Gold, but in a fake manner. For example, at one of the Gatsby parties, Nick saw two girls in yellow dresses, but they were not as attractive as Jordan who was gold.


The most notable example of Green in the novel is green light, which is mentioned several times. This green may mean to represent the future, both good and bad. We see green in the context of hoping for a better future. For example, Gatsby sees the Green light across the street at the mansion of Daisy because he only hopes to someday win her back into his life. Also, when he was a poor boy in Chicago, he would long to get a green ticket for the parties of the elite youth.