The Giver

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Jessica Schwartz
LIT 203
Meg Martin
Literary Elements in ‘The Giver'
By Lois Lowry

The literary element that I chose for this piece of work is symbolism, as it

seems to run heavily throughout the book. The first recognizable symbol is baby Gabriel

who is a working metaphor for the future, as babies often are. He symbolizes a new

future not only for Jonas, but also for the community as things are to change with his

disappearance. He also represents hope. He represents a longing for success on behalf of

Jonas, and also a human connectionrivaled by only The Giver.

The sled is another symbol. It is a symbol of memory and of the power that

memory weilds. It becomes a strong enough force to propel Jonas forward in a time

of great need of strength and endurance.

The river is a symbol of the uncontrollable. It flows away from the community

and is out of the control of the community. The only loss that is not attempted to be

eradicated altogether from memory is that of a child named Caleb, who was lost to the

river. When Jonas realizes how detrimental it would be to the community if he were lost,

his thoughts turn immediately to the river as his fear.

Color is a symbol for understanding. When Jonas starts to perceive color, he

attains the ability to understand what he sees. It is a metaphor for perception.

Eye color is another symbol. The light eyes that Jonas, Gabriel, and The Giver

share symbolize a deeper, unspoken connection. It is implied that this unspoken

connection is genetic rather than simply coincidental, but this possibility is never

broached in the text.

Nudity is a symbol that, to Jonas, represents personal freedom and the ability

to be truly close to another person.
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