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Colors in the Novel My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

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Not a hard thing to do, since we all have had an experience of blood, whether our own or others’. It is this same line of argument that fuels this novel’s narrative. Starking images of intense color peppers the entirety of the story, and the title is only but a clue to this.
In the novel, the importance of color in visual art is further reinforced. The horse, in his exposition on being painted by a miniaturist painter said the value of aesthetics in art so succinctly:
Actually, those of you who pay particular attention to the grace of my midsection, the length of my legs and the pride of my bearing will understand that I am indeed unique. But these excellent features point to the uniqueness of the miniaturist who illustrated me, not to my uniqueness as a horse. Everyone knows that there’s no horse exactly like me. I’m simply the rendering of a horse that exists in a miniaturist’s imagination. Looking at me, observers frequently say, "Good God, what a gorgeous horse!" But they’re actually praising the artist, not me. All horses are in fact
distinct, and the miniaturist, above all, ought to know this.
What follows is a discussion of different colors found and used as themes within the novel.
Red
For the Cherokee Native Americans, the color red is "East, the color of the Sacred Fire, blood, and success."1 How apt then, that red titles the novel which is set in Istanbul.
Red is the color of passion, of blood, of love lost and regained, of childbirth, of revolution and change. As mentioned, the novel opens with this color. Blood is the immediate imagery invoked by the first exposition. Red, then, is the primary moving force in this novel. Fueling the narrative, the color red does violence-it…
The novel “My Name is Red” by Omar Pamuk revolves around the murder of Master Elegant Effendi, a miniaturist in the Ottoman Empire. Important to note though that while the first chapter is narrated by the Master, the novel’s narrator changes in every chapter, and that several inanimate objects such as a coin, painting motifs and the color red are given voice throughout the novel. The novel showcases a mix of mystery, romance, and philosophical puzzles set during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Murat III during nine snowy winter days in Istanbul circa 1591.
The novel makes use of the resonance of color in almost everyone. For instance, it opens with a very visual paragraph—imagine the persona sprawled in a dark place, bathed in dark crimson, swimming in a pool of his blood. Not a hard thing to do, since we all have had an experience of blood, whether our own or others’. It is this same line of argument that fuels this novel’s narrative. Starking images of intense color peppers the entirety of the story and the title is only but a clue to this.
Red is the color of passion, of blood, of love lost and regained, of childbirth, of revolution and change. As mentioned, the novel opens with this color. Blood is the immediate imagery invoked by the first exposition. Red, then, is the primary moving force in this novel. Fueling the narrative, the color red does violence—it leaves not a character, a scene untouched. It is so moving that it defines and reifies the different character-voices in the novel.