Color Symbolism: What Do Colors Mean in Literature and Poetry?

From the very beginning, colours have played an irreplaceable role in our lives/. From expressing emotions to moods, they have been our tools to express. Even writer use colours extensively to create concrete images of their characters, scenes and events.Language itself uses a system of symbols, either verbal or written. Therefore, color symbolism in literature imparts a deeper meaning to the words which, in turn, help transform the written content into a more powerful instrument.

Color symbolism in fairy tales

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The best places in literature to study color symbolism are the Fairy tales which used colors richly: examples include: As red as blood, as white as snow, as black as the crow etc-all of which evoke emotional responses and help develop a connection to the story.

The tale of Snow White is one of the best examples that depicts color symbolism: it uses Red, White and Black dominantly where White represents Heaven, Red represents spilling of blood and an enticing-yet-poisoned apple while Black shows regeneration as well as sexual desire.

Color symbolism in Gothic literature

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Gothic Literature is known for its use of Red and Black as the symbolism associated with these colors really draw the readers in to evoke an emotional response while creating an atmosphere.

Symbolism of green color in literature and poems

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As per the 2004 color study, green in literature and poems is used for symbolizing both a ‘riveting’ and ‘relaxing’ effect. Green represents feelings of refreshment but is also associated with ‘tiredness and guilt’. Green (in poetry) is used for representing nature, harmony, freshness, fertility and also ambition, greed and jealousy.

Symbolism of the color yellow in literature

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Yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy. It is a stimulating color that represents honor, loyalty, and stimulates mental activity. It is also an unstable color associated with cowardice and mental illness. Avoid using this color if you want to portray stability and safety in your work.

Symbolism of blue color in literature

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Blue color in literature is mainly used to draw a positive emotional response and is typically associated with the feeling of calmness, peace, happiness, relaxation, comfort. On the negative side, it may be used to represent depression, sadness and gloominess.

According to the color theory, writers and poets use Blue to depict trust, loyalty, wisdom, faith, confidence, truth and heaven.

Symbolism of the color pink

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Pink, which is a shade of red, is used in literature to denote romance, love, friendship, possessiveness as well as feminine or girly qualities.


Source:

Color-meanings.com

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