Imagery and Symbolism in The Giver

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About this sample


Words: 577 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 577|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Imagery And Symbolism In The Giver

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Imagine a world where everything is meticulously planned and controlled, where emotions and individuality are suppressed, and where memories of the past are erased. This is the dystopian society depicted in Lois Lowry's novel, The Giver. In this essay, we will explore the powerful use of imagery and symbolism in the book, and how they contribute to our understanding of the themes and messages conveyed by the author.

One of the most striking examples of imagery in The Giver is the depiction of color. In Jonas's community, everything is portrayed in shades of gray. The absence of color serves as a powerful symbol of the lack of diversity and vibrancy in their lives. It represents the homogeneity and conformity that the society strives to maintain. Without color, the inhabitants of the community are unable to fully appreciate the beauty and complexity of the world around them. This imagery not only highlights the oppressive nature of the society but also emphasizes the importance of individuality and diversity in our lives.

Another recurring symbol in the novel is the image of the apple. In Jonas's world, apples are described as "vaguely unsettling objects." This symbolizes the community's aversion to anything that deviates from the norm. Apples, with their natural imperfections and variations, represent the inherent unpredictability and uniqueness of human nature. By rejecting such "unsettling" objects, the society seeks to eliminate the unpredictability of human emotions and behaviors. This symbolism underscores the theme of control and conformity, and the consequences of suppressing individuality.

Additionally, the recurring image of the sled in The Giver holds significant symbolic meaning. The sled, a symbol of freedom and joy, represents the memories of the past that Jonas receives from the Giver. It is a vehicle that transports him to a world beyond the confines of his own society. The sled symbolizes the power of memory and the importance of preserving history. Through the sled, Lowry reminds us of the value of our collective past and the dangers of erasing memories.

Furthermore, the use of light and darkness in the novel serves as a powerful metaphor for knowledge and ignorance. Jonas gradually becomes aware of the true nature of his community and the sacrifices made to maintain its order. As he gains knowledge, the world around him becomes increasingly illuminated, both literally and metaphorically. Light represents truth, enlightenment, and the quest for knowledge. Darkness, on the other hand, symbolizes ignorance, repression, and the suppression of truth. This imagery not only highlights the importance of seeking knowledge but also underscores the dangers of complacency and blind conformity.

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In conclusion, the imagery and symbolism in The Giver play a crucial role in conveying the themes and messages of the novel. Through the use of color, the apple, the sled, and light and darkness, Lois Lowry creates a vivid and thought-provoking world that invites us to reflect on our own society. These powerful symbols and images not only provide a deeper understanding of the characters and their struggles but also inspire us to question the status quo and value the diversity and richness of human experience. The Giver reminds us of the importance of individuality, knowledge, and memory in shaping our lives and the world we live in. As we turn the final page of the book, we are left with a profound appreciation for the power of imagery and symbolism in literature and a renewed commitment to preserving the beauty and complexity of our own world.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Imagery And Symbolism In The Giver. (2024, March 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Imagery And Symbolism In The Giver.” GradesFixer, 19 Mar. 2024,
Imagery And Symbolism In The Giver. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
Imagery And Symbolism In The Giver [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 19 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from:
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