This reflects Karl Marx’s belief of upper class wanting and lower class needing more. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald distinguishes the people in East Egg are careless in their mischievous ways. This relates how Daisy and Tom look down upon others, they believe since they’re superior-they’re better than the rest which causes them to be careless. For that, the greedy desperation comes from social problems that rise through different classes.
The imagery of color focuses on the difference of classes to demonstrate how characters feel about class and money. The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock represents hope or the promise of wealth. Fitzgerald uses the green light to symbolize Gatsby’s dreams, which is to win Daisy back. Gatsby has a desire for wealth which Gatsby sees a way of connecting with Daisy because she likes money. “Involuntarily I glanced seaward–and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.” (Fitzgerald, 21). Although the green light (future) is distant from his reality it’s still achievable from his perspective. Additionally, gold/yellow is to represent success and money. Such as Gatsby’s car-it’s his way of wanting but, failing to fit into the class he’s always wanted since he was a teenager. “Go ahead,” answered Daisy genially, “and if you want to take down any addresses here’s my little gold pencil.” (Fitzgerald, 105). Daisy acquired a lot of old money especially when she married Tom. The idea of Daisy handing Tom the gold pencil was to look sophisticated and to prove she was made of old money. Gold and yellow separate the new and old money-it’s the difference from real versus fake. Tom and Daisy grew from their parent’s money and Gatsby unexpectedly entered in a high-class status. White also represents East Egg, “…across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water.” (Fitzgerald, 15). The color white emphasizes the innocence and purity of the wealthy people. When Jordan and Daisy wear white it symbolizes fakeness because they want to fit into the high society by being who they truly are not. As well as, Gatsby trying to see Daisy again he wears a white suit to show he is the best and pure. Daisy’s innocence and freshness are indicated throughout the imagery of white. Fitzgerald mentions the gleaming white house, white rooms, and Daisy’s white dress. He evokes the meaning of purity and empowerment through white. Although Daisy is this princess figure for Gatsby’s Dream-the different shades of white leads to a corrupting effect. That maybe Daisy isn’t this ray of sunshine but is whitewashed with sins. The color imagery strengths the readers understanding of the difference between classes.
The characters and their relationships are also symbols of class, money and power. Gatsby and Daisy-“Her voice is full of money,” (Fitzgerald, 99). Daisy serves as opportunities, power and status that money allows. Although, Gatsby is in love with Daisy on the other hand he wants Daisy for her wealth. The dream he continues to chase after is becoming rich-a desire to be with someone in the higher class. So, lavishing parties Gatsby throws do not meet Daisy’s standards-he continues to prove he is made of “old money”. By hoping to be with Daisy will help him comprehend what it will feel like to be rich and to forget about their innocent love life when they were younger. Looking at Tom and Myrtle’s affair it’s a used relationship. For Tom, Myrtle is an easy target for him, since she is in a lower class in her eyes he’s a “king”. “Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand. ” (Fitzgerald, 127). He can criticize her, physically hurt her and it doesn’t affect him because Myrtle is his mistress. From Myrtle’s perspective, since Tom is rich that is her way getting out of poverty. They don’t love each other-they simply see one another as chance to upgrade the classes they’re currently in or make them look superior. Just like Myrtle sees Tom as a gateway to a higher class-Nick sees Jordan the same way. The physical traits of Jordan is what caught Nick’s attention but, her personality is horrific. Jordan is the complete opposite of Nick-careless, dishonest and doesn’t care what others say about her… “she had moved her ball from a bad lie in the semi-final round.” (Fitzgerald, 57). She’s all about winning, even if she earns it or not she believes everyone will step down to get out of her way. These relationships show the harshness of how East egg hurts the ones below them with complex connections between characters.
The valley of ashes is a wasteland where people and the landscape is offered to wealth and selfishness. It splits both the West and East egg-“…where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke…” (Fitzgerald, 23). Comparing the amazing New York and The Valley of Ashes shows the readers a beautiful lifestyle versus the lifeless through the selfless rich young people. The Eggers are fake reality, New York is true reality and the Valley of Ashes is the corruption of all of it. It shows how there is corruption in careless riches and nothing can be perfect to make up a true reality. Such as the deaths of characters happened in the Valley of Ashes-it’s a negative connotation that the place is sad and gloomy. The two characters who live in the Valley of Ashes are Myrtle and George, East Eggers do not care about the less fortunate people. However, Myrtle is the only one who isn’t covered in dust-she has too much attention on trying to catch a ride with Tom. As for George, he hopes to live a better life but, since he’s in a lower class he has to take responsibility for his actions unlike Tom and Daisy. “God sees everything”(Fitzgerald, 105). Which is holding him back from escaping a dreadful life because if God sees his wrongdoing, he believes karma will get to him. Since Tom and Daisy have money they can run away from their problems. Whatever mess they make, they let others clean it up for them because they’re thoughtless. Fitzgerald expresses certain effects that the rich have benefits and others continue to have hardships.
The color of imagery, the relationships between characters, and the physical landscape adds to the message of higher classes are selfish and reckless. Their wealth is a result of stepping on others and hurting the landscape-physical and psychological of America. This portrays to the theory of Karl Marx’s-it doesn’t matter how much effort you put into getting what you want because it’s not important to society. In order, to be known or liked-there’s a fine line between poor and rich-and rich always wins.