I was reading some short stories and novels and started to relate a colour for each one. Are these relations OK? -Of mice and men, by Steinbeck (yellow) signifies betrayal, optimism, idealism,...

I was reading some short stories and novels and started to relate a colour for each one. Are these relations OK?

-Of mice and men, by Steinbeck (yellow) signifies betrayal, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard and friendship

-Things fall apart, by Achebe (gray) Security, reliability, intelligence, staid, modesty, dignity, maturity, solid, conservative, practical, old age, sadness, boring

-The French liutenant's woman, by Fowls (pink) symbolizes love and romance, caring, tenderness, acceptance and calm

-The English patient, by Ondaatje (black) Power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, unhappiness, depth, style, sadness, remorse, anger, anonymity, underground, good technical color, mourning, death (Western cultures), austerity, detachment

*The landlady, by Maughman (orange) Energy, balance, enthusiasm, warmth, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant, demanding of attention.

*The lottery, by Jackson (brown) Earth, stability, hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, simplicity, and comfort

*Samphire, by O'brian ()

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These relations are "okay."  Some of them are better than others.  Picking a color, seeing its "meanings," and applying it to a piece of literature is a lot like checking your horoscope in the paper.  No matter what sign you read, you inevitably see some similarities to your life.  Or you read things that you want to be true about yourself.  Picking any color for each novel probably works on some level.  

The "Of Mice and Men" color and connotations one actually works out surprisingly well. There is no doubt that Lennie and George are full of optimism and hope.  They are hoping for a better life in which they own their own land. Curley for sure is a jealous coward of a man. Curley's wife is no doubt covetous. She acts and dresses like she thinks she belongs somewhere more high class (even though she is quite low class). Lennie and George are good friends with each other, but in the end George betrays that friendship and kills Lennie.  

I don't agree with gray and the associated words for "Things Fall Apart." All of those words are associated with accountability, stability, patience, and humility. Okonkwo is anything but those things. He's paranoid and rushes many of his decisions. He's also very aggressive and at times anything but mature. Not many of those words seem to fit with a book titled "Things Fall Apart."  

The color chosen for "The Lottery" is okay. The story does take place on Earth, outdoors, and in a simple small town. It seems like a nice, stable environment. That is until the reader realizes that the lottery is a lottery to find out which family will provide a member to be stoned to death. That's anything but comforting. Also, since it's a lottery, reliability doesn't seem to fit. It's random, not reliable.  

Your best bet for the remaining books is to look at specific themes and apply the color connotations to those themes. Build character analyses of characters in the books and apply a color to each character. The likelihood of being able to pick a single color to represent an entire book is a tall order, so listing a few colors is better.