The Color of Love and War
Throughout our reading of The Sorrow of War, various parallels between the impact of war and the impact that love has on humanity. Whether it was Kien’s sence of duty to repay a debt of education on the horrors and inhumanity of war to the next generation, or that of reaching out in care to the female characters in the story; the conflict of love and war is all too present. In turn, I would like to focus on the psychological effect of love and war on Kien. More specifically, I strive to answer as to what the literal color of love and war is for Kien and his family. After all, an exploration of the objective allows for a greater psychological understanding of the subjective.
In the later part of Ninh’s work, the following statement narrows the focus to psychology, “Losses can be made good, damage can be repaired, and wounds will heal in time. But the psychological scars of the war will remain forever” (p. 193). In turn, it is important to take note of the following description of photographs that were Kien’s best memory of his mother. Kien describes the photographs in the following way, “When he now looked at the yellow and faded photographs he saw a young woman looking back at him; but the look conveyed no meaning to him” (pg. 123). Here we see the lack of love that not only impacted Kien, but also his father who, “Nearing the end of his life, whether painting with oils or on silk…rivers or springs, even skies and sea, with no exception they were all done in a varying tones of yellow. Yellow. No other colors, just yellow” (Nihn, 125). Yes, as you may have noticed, is the color of love and war yellow?
If this fascinating article is considered, the answer may very well be yes. Interestingly, per the article, “While [yellow] is considered a cheerful color, people are more likely to lose their tempers in yellow rooms and babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms” (Color Psychology). Hence, the juxtaposition of love and war throughout The Sorrow of War, is almost unnoticeably described by the color yellow. A color that brings happiness and love is also a mask for what the inhumanity of war brings about. What are your thoughts? Was the yellow color of any impact on you?
1. Ninh, Boa. The Sorrow of War. New York: the Berkley Publishing Group, 1993. Print.
2. Color Psychology. “How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings and Behaviors.” About Education. n.d. Web. 26 April, 2015.