The color yellow can be interpreted in both positive and negative ways. In the Great Gatsby, Gatsby is described by the color yellow multiple times to portray how he is rich and corrupt. Gatsby is also described as “new rich” and near the end of the book we find out how he came to become rich. In the Great Gatsby, Gatsby is often associated with the color yellow which indicates his wealth and corruptness.
Gatsby is represented by the color yellow to show his wealth. An example of his wealth is when his house is described in the beginning of the book at the first party that Nick is personally invited to be Gatsby’s chauffeur. “On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.” (44) Having multiple buffet tables that are garnished and sparkling with harlequin designs definitely shows how wealthy Gatsby is. Another positive connotation that Gatsby has with the color yellow is his glamorous and attractive style. At the first party that Nick attends, guests were talking about how charming and handsome Gatsby’s style and smile were. “The scene has changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental and profound.” (51) Since many party guests were talking about Gatsby’s outstanding style and smile, this means that he was well dressed and groomed which leads back to showing how wealthy he is.
The color yellow can also represent negative attributes. For example, yellow can portray how Gatsby was corrupt. “ “ This shows how Gatsby came to be rich which is through bootlegging and drug selling. Another example of Gatsby’s corruptness is when Scott Fitzgerald gives a hint of Gatsby’s business. Near the beginning of Chapter 6, Nick gets the impression that Gatsby was involved with a business that his father headed. “ He was son of a God… and he must be about his father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty.” (104) This is also a clue that Fitzgerald inserts into the text that allows readers to imagine how terrible and illegal were the methods of Gatsby earning his wealth.