Welcome to Literature Stack Exchange

site icon

Literature Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scholars and enthusiasts of literature. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about literature.

We're a little bit different from other sites. Here's how:


Ask questions, get answers, no distractions

This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.

Just questions...

...and answers.

Good answers are voted up and rise to the top.

The best answers show up first so that they are always easy to find.

The person who asked can mark one answer as "accepted".

Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer, it just means that it worked for the person who asked.

What is meant by the title "The Color of Money"?

14

I remember encountering the phrase when I was a kid, not knowing the context, not being able to get a satisfactory answer from the adults, and figuring I'd discover it when I was older.

Now it's 700 years later and I'm re-watching the Scorsese film, which is loosely based on the novel of the same name, and realizing I still don't know what the phrase means.

I do have this vague feeling that the phrase pre-dates the novel, but obv could be mistaken.

So, why is this book called "The Color of Money"?

2 Answers

4

In the novel, Tevis writes:

His skill on the arena of green cloth—cloth that was itself the color of money—could never be only pretense.

So the idea is making the connection between the green baize of the pool table with the green color of US paper currency (the green is more pronounced on the reverse of the bill, which is why one of the nicknames for US paper money is “greenbacks”).

3

Hosek is right, but further connotations of the color of money refer to the fact that profit and gain are powerful, perhaps the most powerful, driving forces behind human behaviour (often at its worst). Observe also that "color" can connote mood, conviction, political or philosophical ideology.

What's the colour of money, what's the colour of money?

Don't tell me that you think it's green

me I know it's red


Get answers to practical, detailed questions

Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do.

Ask about...

  • interpretations of specific passages or aspects of a work of literature
  • the history or context around literary tropes, conventions, awards, etc.
  • identification of stories or quotes you can't place
  • other specific questions about literature

Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

Questions that need improvement may be closed until someone fixes them.

Don't ask about...

  • reading recommendations
  • questions about creating literature yourself
  • questions about languages in general, not just as they relate to literature

Tags make it easy to find interesting questions

All questions are tagged with their subject areas. Each can have up to 5 tags, since a question might be related to several subjects.

Click any tag to see a list of questions with that tag, or go to the tag list to browse for topics that interest you.

What is meant by the title "The Color of Money"?

14

I remember encountering the phrase when I was a kid, not knowing the context, not being able to get a satisfactory answer from the adults, and figuring I'd discover it when I was older.

Now it's 700 years later and I'm re-watching the Scorsese film, which is loosely based on the novel of the same name, and realizing I still don't know what the phrase means.

I do have this vague feeling that the phrase pre-dates the novel, but obv could be mistaken.

So, why is this book called "The Color of Money"?


You earn reputation when people vote on your posts

Your reputation score goes up when others vote up your questions, answers and edits.

+10 question voted up
+10 answer voted up
+15 answer is accepted
+2 edit approved

As you earn reputation, you'll unlock new privileges like the ability to vote, comment, and even edit other people's posts.

Reputation Privilege
15 Vote up
50 Leave comments
125 Vote down (costs 1 rep on answers)

At the highest levels, you'll have access to special moderation tools. You'll be able to work alongside our community moderators to keep the site focused and helpful.

Reputation Privilege
500 Vote to close, reopen, or migrate questions
1000 Edit other people's posts
2000 Access to moderation tools
see all privileges

Improve posts by editing or commenting

Our goal is to have the best answers to every question, so if you see questions or answers that can be improved, you can edit them.

Use edits to fix mistakes, improve formatting, or clarify the meaning of a post.

Use comments to ask for more information or clarify a question or answer.

You can always comment on your own questions and answers. Once you earn 50 reputation, you can comment on anybody's post.

Remember: we're all here to learn, so be friendly and helpful!

9

In the novel, Tevis writes:

His skill on the arena of green cloth—cloth that was itself the color of money—could never be only pretense.

So the idea is making the connection between the green baize of the pool table with the green color of US paper currency (the green is more pronounced on the reverse of the bill, which is why one of the nicknames for US paper money is “greenbacks”).

edit

The green was also greener (and not mixed with any other distracting colors) prior to 2003. - hobbs Apr 15 at 15:08

add a comment


Unlock badges for special achievements

Badges are special achievements you earn for participating on the site. They come in three levels: bronze, silver, and gold.

In fact, you can earn a badge just for reading this page:

 Informed Read the entire tour page
 Student First question with score of 1 or more
 Editor First edit
 Good Answer Answer score of 25 or more
 Civic Duty Vote 300 or more times
 Famous Question Question with 10,000 views

see all badges


Sign up to get started

Signing up allows you to:

  • Earn reputation when you help others with questions, answers and edits.
  • Select favorite tags to customize your home page.
  • Claim your first badge:  Informed
Looking for more in-depth information on the site? Visit the Help Center

Literature Stack Exchange is part of the Stack Exchange network

Like this site? Stack Exchange is a network of 181 Q&A sites just like it. Check out the full list of sites.

Stack Exchange