The Color Green

The color green, which recurs throughout “Continuity of Parks,” highlights the power that fiction gives us to slip into another world while simultaneously remaining in our own world. As the reader lets himself fall into the novel, his green velvet chair acts as an anchor tying him to reality. He enjoys the feeling of the upholstery under his hand and behind his head as he lets the characters and plot wash over him. At the end of the story, when the man sneaks up on his victim, the green velvet armchair he sees sits right on the boundary of real and imagined, making us wonder which is which. Though unnamed, the color green is implied with each mention of the trees and the outdoors, elements that again suggest a simultaneous existence in two worlds. Trees link the two men: the reader senses the presence of the oak trees in his garden while the man in the story is scratched by a tree branch. The title “Continuity of Parks” also references the color green. On one level, the title refers to Cortázar’s story, which begins and ends in the reader’s park. On another level, the title refers to no less than life and fiction, which Cortázar characterizes as a long, interwoven series of green parks.