My Name is Red

My Name is Red

Olive Character Analysis

Olive is another of the master miniaturists trained by Master Osman. He is the only miniaturist whose real name, Velijan, is provided in the book. He comes from a long line of Mongol illustrators and thus exhibits Chinese influence in his work. As such, he is less loyal to the traditional style of miniature painting than Butterfly, but also less enthusiastic about the European style than Stork. Master Osman describes Olive as the most “guilty” and “traitorous” of the miniaturists, but he still refuses to believe that Olive is the murderer, even when evidence suggests that Olive is. Only at the very end of the novel is it revealed definitively that Olive is indeed the murderer. He attempts to flee to India in order to continue practicing miniature painting there, but he is beheaded by Hasan outside the miniaturist workshop when Hasan mistakes him for one of Black’s allies.

Olive Quotes in My Name is Red

The My Name is Red quotes below are all either spoken by Olive or refer to Olive. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of My Name is Red published in 2002.
Chapter 57 Quotes

From now on, the European style would be preeminent in Our Sultan's workshop; the styles and books to which we'd devoted our entire lives would slowly be forgotten––yes, in fact, the whole venture would come to an end, and if the Erzurumis didn't throttle us and finish us off, the Sultan's torturers would leave us maimed . . . But as I cried, sobbed and sighed––even though I continued to listen to the sad patter of the rain––a part of my mind sensed that these were not the things I was actually crying about. To what extent were the others aware of this? I felt vaguely guilty for my tears, which were at once genuine and false.

Related Characters: Olive (speaker)
Page Number: 381
Explanation and Analysis:

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Olive Character Timeline in My Name is Red

The timeline below shows where the character Olive appears in My Name is Red. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...Death and Satan, “because we fear them,” and has asked his team of illustrators, Stork, Olive, Elegant, and Butterfly, to choose their own subjects as well. (full context)
Chapter 6: I Am Orhan
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...The miniaturists still call each other by the nicknames Osman gave them as apprentices: Butterfly, Olive, and Stork. (full context)
Chapter 11: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...has been missing for six days, and that the Sultan has instructed other young masters—Stork, Olive, and Butterfly—to work from home. (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...her the letter and asks her to tell Shekure that he has gone to visit Olive, Butterfly, and Stork. (full context)
Chapter 14: I Am Called “Olive”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Olive is drawing “the darling faces of boys” when he hears Black’s knock at the door.... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Having finished his stories, Olive comments that “blindness is a realm of bliss from which the Devil and guilt are... (full context)
Chapter 17: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...He notes that he’d forgotten that Stork sometimes made negative comments about Elegant’s gilding work. Olive embraces Enishte, and Enishte thinks that he has most faith in Olive out of all... (full context)
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
The procession continues. Butterfly walks over and tells Enishte he knows Olive and Stork are behind Elegant’s death. They knew Butterfly had a bad relationship with Elegant... (full context)
Chapter 18: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...murderer. This means that the reader has no way of knowing whether he is Butterfly, Olive, or Stork, although the murderer challenges the reader to recognize him through his style of... (full context)
Chapter 36: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...that one of the miniaturists murdered Elegant, and that he suspected it was either Butterfly, Olive, or Stork. He panics that the Head Treasurer will think he is a liar, but... (full context)
Chapter 41: It is I, Master Osman
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...Osman and Black look through the book and are able to attribute particular illustrations to Olive, Stork, and Butterfly. In this way, they are able to learn the stylistic attributes of... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...to murder. In fact, Osman already wants Butterfly to succeed him, as he doesn’t trust Olive and he believes that Stork will “unwittingly become a slave to the Venetian style.” Osman... (full context)
Chapter 43: I Am Called “Olive”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Before evening prayers, one of the Commander’s men arrives at Olive’s house and announces that the Sultan has called for a contest to see which miniaturist... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...painted the horse with the clipped nostrils, and this time Osman replies that it was Olive, but adds that he is sure it was not Olive who murdered Elegant. Rather, he... (full context)
Chapter 55: I Am Called “Butterfly”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...and Osman’s search to find the murderer, adding that while the stylistic clue pointed to Olive, Osman remained convinced the culprit was Stork. Butterfly suspects both Olive and Stork are guilty,... (full context)
Chapter 56: I Am Called “Stork”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...throat, Stork identifies the artist responsible for each illustration in Enishte’s book, and notes that Olive drew the horse. Stork apologizes for the state of his house and says his wife... (full context)
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...that he attempted to divert blame away from the true murderer. He tells them that Olive won’t be at home but will instead be at the abandoned dervish lodge. He then... (full context)
Chapter 57: I Am Called “Olive”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Olive notices the three men watching him and quickly finishes his prayers. He embraces Butterfly, asking:... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Olive feels that Black’s desire to capture the murderer is not only rooted in his willingness... (full context)
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
When it is Olive’s turn to speak, he panics, having not read the Koran in a while. In the... (full context)
Chapter 59: I, Shekure
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...and Hayrire tend to Black’s wounds. Esther bursts into the house and joyously declares that Olive’s head was found outside the workshop and that the pictures in his satchel proved he... (full context)