What is the symbol of colors in Beloved by Toni Morrison?

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Colors have long been associated with different feelings and emotions. For example, we often associate red with anger, blood, or death and blue with sadness. In the novel Beloved, many objects are given specific colors that are symbolic. One color can have several different meanings within the text.

Red is the most recurring color in the text. There is the red of the decaying roses, Amy's red velvet, Paul's red heart, the red rooster, the red of Sethe's daughter's blood, and the red ribbon.

Clean and new and so smooth. The velvet I seen was brown, but in Boston they got all colors. Carmine. That means red but when you talk about velvet you got to say "carmine." She raised her eyes to the sky and then as though she had wasted enough time away from Boston, she moved off saying, "I got go”

The red velvet symbolizes Amy's hope for a better future. Boston has many colors of velvet, especially red, in opposition to the brown that she has seen. The bright colors of velvet in Boston hint that she will move there.

The red ribbon of Stamp Paid represents strength. The text states, “he clutched the red ribbon in his pocket for strength. Softly at first, then harder”. The ribbon is like a talisman that he keeps in his pocket to remind him to be strong and courageous.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the use of red in the novel, try to discover meanings for the the red rooster, Paul's red heart, and the decaying roses on your own.

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