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Blue/Orange – Footnotes

Nov 19, 2021 | Footnotes | 0 comments

The Footnotes to our episode on Blue/Orange include some further thoughts on the significance of the slightly awkward back slash in the title of the play.

The Title 
We talked during the podcast about the significance of the title, particularly of the superficially awkward back slash. The back slash implies something that is both blue and/or orange simultaneously, which of course the oranges are perceived as in the play. Likewise, the labelling of Christopher’s condition is ambiguous. At its simplest, the identity of an orange is defined by the colour of its skin, as Christopher is called black because of the colour of his skin. The analogy is signalled more explicitly when Robert refers in his report to the “blue-skinned orange” as being in the “minority given that other citruses are ordinarily orange”.

The semantics of our labelling people and medical diagnoses is cleverly conveyed in the artwork for the title of the play used for the recent production we discussed in the episode. The design shows a single capsule of medication, one half of which is orange and the other blue, but the words Blue and Orange are fixed to the reverse colours, so we experience that mind trick of not noticing that the orange half of the pill is actually labelled blue and vice versa. It reinforces the doubt that we should be acknowledging in the difficulty about labelling people and particularly of course in labelling mental health conditions.

The Texts
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