From Lowry's The Giver, what are some quotes that relate to the symbolism of the color red?
The community in which Jonas lives prefers to live under the condition of Sameness. That means they would rather have peace, tranquility, and safety over conflict, war, and risk. In an effort to sustain Sameness, individual preferences and extremes are taken away from the community. This is mostly done so citizens stay focused on sameness rather than seeking out individual desires or risky behavior. As a result, all colors stimulate desires, passions and individuality, so they were taken away. The color red, though, is also an extreme color which is associated with both pain and love. For example, one of the first memories Jonas receives has to do with the color red and pain.
"This time, as he lay basking in the wonderful warmth, he felt the passage of time. . . His skin began to sting. Restlessly he moved one arm, bending it, and felt a sharp pain in the crease of his inner arm at the elbow. . . He knew there was a word, but the pain kept him from grasping it. . . 'It was sunburn,' the old man told him. 'It hurt a lot,' Jonas said" (86).
Jonas does not see the color red, yet, with sunburn, but the fact remains that this type of pain is associated with it. Also, the memory of war in chapter 15 shows Jonas how red blood is associated with pain. Jonas first sees and realizes the color red while playing catch with an apple and then with Fiona's hair. Both the apple and her hair appeal to Jonas which inspires preference and desire; something that is not allowed with Sameness.
"There were a lot of colors, and one of them was called red. That's the one you are starting to see. Your friend Fiona has red hair--quite distinctive, actually; I've noticed it before. When you mentioned Fiona's hair, it was the clue that told me you were probably beginning to see the color red" (94).
As Jonas discovers red, he also discovers the desire for preference and free choice.
"If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! I want to wakeup in the morning and decide things! A blue tunic, or a red one?" (97).
Since the color red symbolizes choice, preference, pain, and love, the community had to get rid of it. If someone falls in love with another person, that would upset the family units which are organized for practicality, not for love or family bonds. Families don't even see each other after the children have grown up because that would allow someone to prefer one group of people over another, which hinders Sameness again.