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Imagery in The Great Gatsby

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Giordana DeFrancesca

on 26 November 2013

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Transcript of Imagery in The Great Gatsby

Imagery in The Great Gatsby
The colour white usually means purity and innocence. Fitzgerald used the colour white to help explain the theme appearance vs. reality. In the movie white has a deeper meaning than the taboo characteristics, it means false purity. Daisy comes across as the perfect women by being rich, beautiful and innocent; she is only this way on the outside. On the inside Daisy is materialistic and powerful. Daisy only cares for money and materialistic items. When she first meets Gatsby she was actually pure, thus wearing pure white and owning a white car. As her character develops she becomes less pure, and more materialistic and corrupt. "It makes me sad because I've never seen such - such beautiful shirts before"(Fitzgerald 2013). Daisy starts to cry when she is at Gatsby's not because she does not know who she wants to be with but because his shirts were so beautiful. Daisy never truly loved Tom, she only liked his money. Appearance versus reality is shown through the colour white because we imagine Daisy to be pure and innocent when in reality is not, therefore the colour white covers Daisy's actual appearance.
Importance of Imagery
The movie The Great Gatsby, has several components of imagery intertwined within the movie. Imagery is used to help the viewer understand the themes of the movie deeper. Imagery helps to make connections and often we use all of our five senses to do so. All motifs help find an underlying message whether it helps to drive themes, characters or the plot. Imagery can do so in unique and creative ways.Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, uses imagery to show emotion and/or irony. He uses colour throughout The Great Gatsby to develop themes.
Although, gold and yellow are similar in shade they mean different things, gold meaning wealth, old money and greed. Yellow means new money or fake money. Yellow and gold both represent the theme of corruption, moral decay, greed and ambition. Throughout the movie characters are shown as being corrupted and losing morality. Gatsby wears yellow to show he is not who he seems to be. He came across money in a non ethical way. Gatsby wants to come across like he has old money, so he buys a yellow car. His yellow car is what kills Myrtle. When imaging the colour yellow we think of less expensive items but when imaging the colour gold we think of expensive items such as jewelery. Gatsby is shown as being the colour yellow, while Tom Buchanan is gold. Gatsby as making his own money while Tom was born into money, this is an important difference because it shows different social standings even though they are very similar and how money can lead to corruption.
Gold and Yellow
The colour green is the most prominent colour throughout the movie. Green means hope, dreams, ambition sickness, and envy. The colour green helps develop the theme of The American Dream. The green light at the end of Daisy's dock allows Gatsby to dream that one day they will be together again. “Believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us”(Fitzgerald 2013). The 1920's were all about dreams, Gatsby's dream is what kept him going. Green means "go", the green light pushed his ambition to get what he wants; Daisy. Gatsby's ambition is what got him the money that he thought would have brought back Daisy. Additionally, the theme of envy can also be shown through the colour green. Gatsby was envious of others that came from money because initially that is what separated Daisy and him. Therefore, he throws big, extravagant parties to come across as being rich and Gatsby is considered "green with envy". Gatsby has had hardships in life but the green light on the dock shows Gatsby trying to seize his one happiness. George Wilson, who thinks Myrtle is cheating on him with Tom, gassed up Tom's car with a green face, because he is sickened by his situation. Tom is not living the American Dream and he does not have money nor does he have a good marriage or job.“In the sunlight his face was green”. This quote creates an image of someone being sick. The colour green is very important throughout the movie.
The Great Gatsby. Dir. Baz Luhrmann. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan . Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2013. Film.

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