The first cup moistens my lips and throat, The second cup breaks my loneliness, The third cup searches my barren entrails but to find therein some five thousand volumes of odd ideographs.
The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration — all the wrong of life passes away through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified; the sixth cup calls me to the realms of immortals. The seventh cup — ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of cool wind that rises in my sleeves
Where is Foraosan? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.
Toward the end of the 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, Jay shows up to lunch with his mistress and her husband in a pink suit. For modern readers, it’s tempting to take his color selection as a sign of dandyism. Why would a man choose to wear the color of Mary Kay, breast-cancer research tie-ins and kitchen gadgets galore? When cuckolded husband Tom Buchanan criticizes Gatsby for wearing pink, he seemingly echoes the present-day assumption that pink is a feminine color.
But that would be imposing today’s view of pink on the past. Buchanan uses the suit’s hue not to discredit Gatsby’s masculinity or virility, but his intellectual bona fides. He mentions it only when Gatsby’s described as an Oxford man: “[Buchanan] was incredulous. ‘Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit.’”
Buchanan’s comments make it clear that men in pink meant something different in the 1920s than today. According to an interview with the costume designer for Baz Luhrmann’s recent film, the color had working-class connotations. Only in the relatively recent past did pink acquire its feminine connotations.