Symbols, Sightings, and Points of Imagery
2. Jay Gatsby's Blue Coat
3. White-plum Tree and the Woman
4. Dan Cody's Yacht
5. Daisy's Little Gold Pencil
"Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees-he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder." (F. Scott Fitzgerald,110)
"A few days later he took him to Dultah and bought him a blue coat..." (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 100)
"...a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman who sat in a state under a white-plum tree." (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 104)
"They were still under the white-plum tree and their faces were touching...he had been very slowly bending toward her all evening to attain this proximity...I saw him stoop one ultimate degree and kiss her at the cheek." (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 107)
"...that yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world." (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 100)
"...and if you want to take down any addresses here's my little gold pencil." (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 105)
The ladder symbolizes success as well as the climb to reaching the American Dream; that the American Dream is possible as long as people are willing to climb the ladder of success. This quote states that Gatsby can only climb the ladder alone if he wants to have all the wonderful things that he could ever dreamed of. He must choose between love and success. However, he decides to try to achieve both and ends in destruction later on.
Blue symbolizes illusions. It is also a symbol of ultimate bliss. Jay Gatsby's blue coat that Dan Cody bought for him represents James Gatz's created persona of Jay Gatsby, which provides an illusion to other people who do not know about his past. When James Gatz decides to join Dan Cody and leaves his identity behind, entering the world of wealth and glamour, he is entering a world that he sees for himself as very blissful and where he would want to be part of for the future.
The white colour of the plum tree symbolizes purity and innocence. The fact that the woman was sitting under the white-plum tree gave the impression that she was woman of purity and innocence, just as the colour suggests.
However, this statement is contradicted when a man, the woman's director, and the woman's faces touch, meaning that they were very close to each other. The man ended up kissing her on the cheek as well, and this gives the impression that the woman is not as pure and innocent as she seems, as she did not try to distance herself from the man.
The rich society in this book may appear pure and innocent, but in reality, they are not. This is a great example of appearance vs. reality.
Dan Cody's yacht was James Gatz's door or mode of transportation to a new world and a more glamourous life. Upon seeing Dan Cody's yacht and rowing out to warn Cody about the upcoming storm, James Gatz throws away his identity and starts his process of rebirth as Jay Gatsby. Whilst following Cody as his assistant on the yacht, travelling to different places, Jay Gatsby is created.
The colours of gold and/or yellow symbolize wealth, or more specifically, 'old money'. Daisy acquired plenty of 'old money' and the respecting status when she married Tom Buchanan. In giving the gold pencil to Tom, Daisy perhaps wanted to look more sophisticated than she actually was, and show people that she was of 'old money'.