Don't Look Behind You

by Lois Duncan
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Identify and explain the most important symbols used in the book Don't Look Behind You by Lois Duncan using text evidence.

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Symbols in Lois Duncan's thriller Don't Look Behind You include tennis, eyes, the "secret passages" and overgrown vegetation around the Florida house, and family. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

Tennis is one of the high points of April's life. She is a star tennis player...

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Symbols in Lois Duncan's thriller Don't Look Behind You include tennis, eyes, the "secret passages" and overgrown vegetation around the Florida house, and family. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

Tennis is one of the high points of April's life. She is a star tennis player on her school team, and tennis is a symbol of April's normal life, her life before her father's work for the FBI lands the entire family in the witness protection program. After that, tennis becomes a symbol of April's limited new existence. She cannot try out for the school team, no matter how good she is, because it would draw attention to her, and that is something April and her family must avoid at all costs.

Eyes also stand as an important symbol in this novel. April's brother, Bram, has two different colored eyes. Before the family's move, this was something merely odd, a point of conversation, something that made Bram unique. After the move, Bram's eyes become a symbol of danger, for they make him easy to recognize. Bram must wear contact lens to hide his eyes, a symbol of the family's need to hide themselves and their unique traits.

The family's new Florida home also symbolizes their life in hiding. It has "secret passages" that Bram enjoys exploring but that also represent the secrets in this family's life. The overgrown vegetation around the house also indicates hiding and provides a place where April can be by herself away from the world for a while as she tries to hide from the new life she hates.

Finally, family becomes a symbol in the novel. April has to learn the hard way that her family is the most important thing in her life and that when they are together, everything will be fine one way or another. The family symbolizes hope and strength in overcoming adversity.

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