Symbolism

Colour

Colour is significant throughout All That Glisters. The colourful glitter Clare decorates her cards with symbolises her positive spirit and the way in which she perceives the world. At night time in her bedroom, she can see that:

quote
the tips of ma fingers were still covered in glitter, and they sparkled in the dark

This represents the brightness of Clare’s personality even in dark and difficult times.

In All That Glisters, colour represents life. The red outfit Clare picks out for the funeral highlights her desire to celebrate her father’s life rather than mourn for what has been lost. Unlike the dull, drab coat Auntie Pauline directs her to wear, Clare’s red outfit holds connotations of love and warmth.

When she covers herself in glitter, the depressing grey and navy-blue of her outfit is transformed. Instead of holding connotations of death and sadness, the dull cloth is bleezin wi light and gives the impression of being alive. The personification of Clare’s glitter-filled hair as glisterin and dancin in the light suggests that colour evokes life. The reader is reminded of the:

quote
faint powdery whiteness

of asbestos that Clare remembers floating around her father’s head when they played ghosts. Although the ghost scene foreshadows the father’s death, Clare uses it to inspire her glitter tribute. When Clare smiles in the mirror at the glowin figure afore me, the reader is shown Clare’s positivity and her ability to look past tragedy and focus on the beautiful.