Literary Analysis: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction

Age Recommended: 14 and up

I just finished reading this book for English class and it has already earned its way onto my shelf of favorite books. The narration of the story is extremely purposeful and incredible and the characters are very engaging. Honestly a literary masterpiece. I’m also eager to watch some of the movie versions even though my English teacher has told me that none of them quite live up to the book.

Here is my literary analysis for the first 6 chapters of the book!

Daisy And The Color Green in Chapter 1-6 of The Great Gatsby

On page 111 of the Great Gatsby, Nick, Daisy, and Tom are at one of Gatsby’s parties. Daisy is speaking to Nick and mentions: “If you want to kiss me any time during the evening, Nick, just let me know and I’ll be glad to arrange it for you. Just mention my name. Or present a green card. I’m giving out green ——” and then is abruptly interrupted by Gatsby who derails the conversation to one about the people at the party and the people that Daisy and Tom must surely know. What seems odd about this interaction is that despite Gatsby’s obvious infatuation with Daisy, she continues to act flirtatiously with Nick. Furthermore, the “green card” seems like a symbol for something else- something bigger. This brings me to the main point of this writing: the color green in The Great Gatsby.

In the last two pages of Chapter 1, Nick tells us that he is watching Gatsby and is about to call him for dinner. However, Gatsby appears to be trembling and “stretche[s] out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way” and when Nick looks, as far as he can see, there is nothing except a “single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock”. At this point, the only connection between the two quotes presented is the mention of the color green with respect to Daisy.

This would not have been an odd occurrence except for the fact that the green light appears again, on page 98, when Daisy, Gatsby, and Nick are at Gatsby’s mansion. Gatsby mentions that “‘If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,’ said Gatsby. ‘You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.’” Based on Daisy’s reaction to this and Nick’s narration, we know that this green light used to be the supposedly insurmountable distance that he had claimed was between them which no longer exists. Thus, the color green is some sort of symbol of Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship.

This fact gives more context to the original quote on page 111 which talks about a green card that Daisy is giving out to people that supposedly allows them to kiss her. When Gatsby interrupts, it seems that he is objecting to a larger idea: not only the fact that Daisy is giving out kisses but the fact that they’re in the shape of a green card, which may be a symbol of Daisy’s affections as we see before in the book with the green lights.

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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