It all means something

January 3, 2010
By Willyson BRONZE, Cincinnati, Ohio
Willyson BRONZE, Cincinnati, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Laughing makes you live longer

Symbolism is shown throughout many parts of Lois Lowry’s, The Giver. Some symbols found throughout The Giver are the pills, which symbolize sameness and rebellion in the community, the apple showed change in the community, the hill represented life because it was hard to get up, but they made it somehow, and the sled represented transition from one world to another.
In the book, the receivers could get information in the form of memories, which no one in the community had access to. Being a receiver is a very special task to be given in the community. On the day of the 12 ceremony, Jonas was skipped when everyone was receiving their assignments. Jonas feared he had done something wrong, and that he was being punished. But at the end of the ceremony, the chief elder apologized to the crowd and Jonas for the confusion. Jonas ended up being chosen as a receiver, which meant that he had possessed all of the qualities of one. Not just any person could be chosen to do the job of a receiver. The qualities of a receiver must be present at birth. Jonas received these memories from “the giver”. Jonas learned much about the history of his community, and acquired some feelings along the way. When he received the memory of war, he felt pain and sadness; when he received the memory of Christmas, he felt love; and some memories were simply feelings, like being cold, or warm. Jonas used memories along his journey with Gabe as they fought to withstand the intense conditions outside of the community.
On one page, Jonas was picking out an apple to eat. He was thinking about how all of them were the same, this may have foreshadowed what he thought would happen in the future. Sameness was something Jonas thought about often, but not as much as he did leading up to the end of the story. Everyone had to be the same in his community, there were very little mirrors, announcements that indirectly called out peoples’ imperfections, and it was a transgression to point out someone else’s’ flaws. Another big contributor to sameness was the fact that no one could see colors. Colors were a memory that only receivers and givers had access to, this was just one of many things that the entire community did not have access to. Supposedly, everyone was allowed to access memories a while ago, but there was so much chaos, that they had to take them away.
At the end of the story, when Jonas and Gabriel had escaped from the increasingly violent community, when they were just out of strength, they found a hill. The hill perhaps, represented life, because it was hard to get up, put they made it somehow. When they made it to the top, there was a sled, which possibly represented the change between one world to another because on their way down the hill on the sled, they thought they heard music, which could have been a safe place to live, much different from the community they had lived in for so long. They had felt the joy of music, Lowry makes the sense that no one knows the ending to the story, they were so fatigued, that they either lived or died. If there was another community there, they probably lived, if there wasn’t, she left the impression that someone would likely not find them and they will die. They get the impression of life at the direct end when they both think they hear music; meaning that there might be another community there, the other place they were searching for. Lowry lead others to believe that Jonas and Gabe would live by using this music. Since they both heard it, this perhaps suggests that they truly did hear it, and it wasn’t one of them having a memory. Lowry states that she wanted to leave an “either or” feel to the end of the book, which left the reader to make their own conclusion to the ending of “The Giver”.
The Giver is filled with symbolism, it can be found around every corner of the book. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what things in a book symbolize, sometimes things can symbolize multiple things, and it is up to the reader to decide what the object symbolizes

The author's comments:
This piece was about the book, "The Giver"

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