The Colors of Random Magic: Red

[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: 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 red: Red is the color of passion, courage and strength. But it’s also the color of rage and violence. Because blood is red, it’s also connected to the idea of a blood sacrifice. In China, it’s associated with good luck, and a typical New Year present might be a gift of money -- inside a red envelope. The color red is associated very strongly with Winnie. She even wears a red tunic. In her case, it symbolizes vigor, courage, and passion, because she possesses all of these traits. To a lesser degree, it also symbolizes her boldness and potential for violence, and also her willingness to lay her life on the line for anyone she cares about. Callie, the First Muse, has startling, bright red hair. It’s not just an attractive shade of hair, but symbolizes the boldness and power of creative vision. Just as fire has the potential to be a blessing or a danger to human life, so is the ability to see things that don’t yet exist. A vivid imagination is useful for a writer, and hazardous for a madman. Callie’s hair is not just a reflection of her warm, sunny spirit, but also an acknowledgement that, just as blood is necessary, so is our ability to dream. On a more obscure note, a flash of red is seen in connection with Lady Witherspoon, who wears a deep red choker. Lady Witherspoon is French by birth. Red ribbons were worn by the relatives of French aristocrats who’d been guillotined during the Reign of Terror. In morbidly romantic fashion, ‘Bals des victims,’ or victims’ balls were allegedly held, where red ribbons were worn around the neck, signifying the wearer’s connection to a victim of the Reign of Terror. The implication, in the book, is that Lady Witherspoon is undeniably of aristocratic or even royal extraction. The further implication, though, is that she might very possibly not be altogether human. Because, of course, if the Bals des victims occurred in 1795, she’d be several centuries old in our time. Of course, she might just be paying a very extended tribute to her lost relations on her scandalous family tree. Perhaps. [Additional content you'd like to add: URLs, related links, your review, mention of upcoming tour stop, etc.]