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Thread: What is a yellow ticket?

  1. #1
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    What is a yellow ticket?

    I have just recently started reading this book, and I noticed more than once the term yellow ticket was used in reference to the character Sonia, and once it was referred to as her yellow passport, and while I gather that it is linked to her prostitution I wondered just what does the term yellow ticket mean?

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    i'm not really sure if there's a distinct reason as to why it's a yellow ticket (as opposed to a green ticket). it could be because of its contrast to all other documentation (in regards to the color)...i'm not really sure, but it doesn't really seem all too pressing of a matter within the greater novel itself.
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  3. #3
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Hehe no, it was really just a trifle that I was curious about because it is a term I never heard of before. As I read I often am a great one for looking up words, names of places, terminology, etc. that is unfamiliar to me even if not always truly important to the greater meaning of the work.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #4
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I was doing some research and apparently there literally was a yellow passport the young girls who were prostitutes had to obtain, from what I gather it was a documentation that allowed young women who did not have a proper escorts to legally travel alone within the country.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    I was doing some research and apparently there literally was a yellow passport the young girls who were prostitutes had to obtain, from what I gather it was a documentation that allowed young women who did not have a proper escorts to legally travel alone within the country.
    I made that inference but wasn't sure so I thank you for doing the legwork
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  6. #6
    Alright alright.
    Now, don't be naive and state that anything in a Dostoevsky novel is trivial, because it isn't trivial.

    A yellow ticket may have been a period card for prostitutes. I feel that that is not at all the point.

    There is a motif of yellow throughout Crime & Punishment and this is another example of it.
    Marmeladov, earlier in the scene, is described as yellow from his drinking. He then describes Sonya's ticket as yellow, there is definitely a reason that Dostoevsky choose to give the ticket color as opposed to leaving it white and it is certainly not to make it a more understood purpose. If that were his intentions he could have merely stated it as such, but he chose to call it a yellow ticket and yellow passport.

    The fact that it is yellow, the universal color symbol for impurity, shows that Sonya's way through life was one of impurity. The fact that Marmeladov is the one naming it yellow is also important.

    The yellow passport is also an allusion to Svid's later complex about going to America, or suicide. This shows that where Svid's escape was in suicide, Sonya's escape was in helping her family which lead to her impurity.

  7. #7
    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
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    I don't know if it applies in this context, but in the novel Les Miserables Jean Valjean, a convict released from the French prison system was issued a "yellow ticket" of leave. It was his passport as a paroled convict. He had to show this in every city as he entered. It was a way to mark the "undesirable" people.....I guess...
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  8. #8
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socceree02 View Post
    The fact that it is yellow, the universal color symbol for impurity, shows that Sonya's way through life was one of impurity. The fact that Marmeladov is the one naming it yellow is also important.
    Fascinating.

    Looking up all the reference to yellow shows that Dostoevsky uses the colour to denote aged, decaying, damaged goods, claustrophobic, contaminated, wasted, ugly, vulgar and gaudy.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

  9. #9
    Всем доброй ночи!

    Hey, an explanation straight from Russia!

    A "yellow ticket" is a yellow-coloured document (an alternative form of a passport ID) which enabled a woman to be legally engaged in prostitution. So that means it was acceplable (in Russian, "bearable", "tolerable") and that's why brothels were called "tolerance houses".

  10. #10
    knowledge is power irishpixieb's Avatar
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    It's the card that a prostitute would carry around so that people would know that she's a prostitute.

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    I thought it might be useful to quote something about "yellow ticket" I found today in "Manhattan Transfer" by Dos Passos:
    He stopped and stared a minute at Jimmy with wide drunken eyes. "So here's the cub reporter, the yellow jounalist is it, looking as if butter wouldnt melt in his mouth is it? Do you know what my opinion of you is? ... How do you like being a paid prostitute of the public press? How d'you like your yellow ticket? The brass check, that's the kind of thing..."

  12. #12
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    So in soccer, when an official gives an unruly player a yellow card, he's actually telling him he can go boink himself?
    "You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views." -- Doctor Who

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