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Compare/Contrast Essay: Chameleon Condition

1090 words - 4 pages

Colour is one of the most defining characteristics that can be used to understand people. Generally, we have associated colour with many of our emotions. For example, black is a representation of death; red represents love or blood. Through the changing of Adam's skin colour in The Chameleon Condition, and the lines of cocaine in Glass, we receive a better understanding of the emotional distress both characters are enduring. Both authors use excellent imagery within the story, however none so powerful as the ones used to define the emotions main characters. The stories The Chameleon Condition and Glass use the imagery of colour to define the main characters in the story. Contrasting colours is used not just in writing, but has extremely strong influences in art. Through colour we are able feel what we see or read. This is what makes both stories excellent. Although one may not fully grasp the concepts, the ideas of colours are concrete. The general understanding is that colours can be interpreted very easily, because of its simplicity. Adam has a rare skin conditions that allows him to change colour. The author harnesses this idea, and uses it to resemble emotions. An excellent example of this is; "He took deep breaths. He blinked several times, but the green did not go away. Indeed, if anything it seemed to be getting brighter, more nauseating it was frog green, swamp green, the green of moss in old half empty jars." Even without context this sentence makes sense. Green, the colour of sickness, and its association with disease, are used strongly here to show how sick Adam is. Adam is a very guilty person; at no time does he ever turn into pleasant or warm colours, such as yellow, or orange. The author uses very descriptive words to give us a sense of what the colours look like."Adam became used to himself as blue. Depression Blue"¦ not the cobalt of passion. This was a greyish blue, a little bleak perhaps, but inoffensive." The colour blue is used to show depression and anxiety in artwork. Naturally the colour used to define Adam with a guilty conscience (for cheating on his wife) was blue. However it isn't just any blue it is a darker shade of blue, a more "greyish blue". By adding in another colour we see light contrast, and how light affects the tone of the colour. This darker blue can be interpreted as uncertainty, he does know if he's guilty for what he did, or disappointed that he did it. We can see yet another, amongst many, good example of Adam's emotion turning into a visible colour; "But the ghastly, neon, or the street lamps, he saw his purple hands, his purple wrists, his purple arms. His whole body was a bruise." A bruise, from an artist point of view, is a mixture, purposely coincidently, of blue, green, and purple. The idea of the bruising purple is a culmination of anxiety and his past colours, viciously attacking his body, resulting in a massive bruise. This bruising purple is...

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