The Colors of Random Magic: Gold

[Tour host info: This is one post in a series of quick reader notes about the colors used in Random Magic. If you would like this essay for your post during your tour stop, please leave your comments on this page, send a msg via Twitter, or drop an email -- trying to figure out who would like which piece so there are no double posts. You know, so we sort of look semi-organized. Yeah, we're really just winging it, but hey!] Images available: Text: Everyone who’s read the book says that the world of Random Magic is so colorful and vivid that they can actually almost see the world right in front of them, as if it were a movie.

It was definitely written that way, since that world actually is a lot more magical and overwhelming than our own world. Everything would be more powerful and startling, including something as basic as the colors surrounding Henry and Winnie as they search for Alice. But a lot of the colors in Random Magic aren’t just there for decoration, but actually have some particular significance. Here are some quick reader notes about the more symbolic uses of color in Random Magic. This post is about the use of the color gold:

The color of gold is associated, obviously, with wealth and splendor. It’s also the preferred color for a great deal of coveted mythical things, including golden apples, or the golden fleece of Greek myth. Gold was used to enclose the remains Egyptian pharaohs as they rested in their uneasy tombs for all eternity. What’s interesting about gold is how often the blessing of possessing vast amounts of gold also comes with a curse. Or the fact that gold is lavishly displayed, but first has to be unearthed through hardship and physical labor. What’s also interesting is how often objects are gold-plated; giving off the appearance of something valuable, but really being far less valuable. Or, as in the phrase, “gilding the lily,” in adding a totally needless layer of perfection to something which is already perfect. All of these related thoughts come into play with the scenes of the Floating City; a city that’s seemingly flawless and, literally, golden – but, of course, things aren’t always what they seem to be. The gold might itself be real, and valuable, but there are some things in the world which not even a city of gold could ever buy. [Additional content you'd like to add: URLs, links to your review, upcoming tour stops, related links, etc.]