Question: Make note of the colours associated with the party and discuss the symbolic significance of these.
In Gatsby’s party in chapter three there are a few colours that are referred to a number of times. The colours are often used to show emotions or foreshadowing further in the book. The most dominant colour in the party is yellow. Yellow has very contrasting meanings. Yellow is a symbol of the sun, which brings us summer and warmth. Especially in our culture in Canada, summer is a joyful season and people are often positively affected. Gold, also a shade of yellow, is almost always viewed as success, wealth and a positive future to come. The contrasting negative view of yellow is decay. Many things in our life become yellow as they begin to decay. For example our teeth and nails. Leafs and other plants turn yellow as they die, and fall is also a symbolism of yellow. Fall is the start of the cold, the days get shorter and these are often negative effects in our life. “The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music” (pg.40) is a section of the description of the party. This is one of the positive yellow meanings in the party. The “ yellow cocktail music” is described at the beginning at the party shows how the party is going great and at this point it’s all positive feelings. Further into the party a lady in a yellow dress and a lady with read hair start playing a “ very, very sad” (pg. 51) song. The yellow symbolizes the decay in the party and how everything is dying down and there is drama between spouses. It could also have been foreshadowing for the decay to come further in the book. Red is often a warning colour or has a negative meaning to it for example death or anger. The lady with the red hair could have been foreshadowing and a warning for the crash in the end of the party. The red could also be foreshadowing the deaths of Gatsby later on in the book. There is gold used to describe the amazing food at Gatsby’s party. This describes the food being more valuable then plain food symbolizing the wealth in the party. (pg 40)