What is the role of color (especially red) in The Giver?Make sure to mention the things in the giver that are red and what they symbolize.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In the book The Giver the society Jonas lives in is devoid of emotions and pain.  It is also absent in color.  Even the people are all the same.  In order for the people to live their lives as a common society without the experience of pain and suffering they have given up memories.  If a person has no memories, he has nothing to think back on that can cause him harm.  However, the existence of the people is dull and unenlightened.  Red symbolizes enlightenment but also symbolize the danger of the awakening of emotions and feelings.  Red demonstrates the vibrancy of the feelings and emotions that Jonas experiences once he has them shared with him by the Giver.  The red sleigh is an allegory that the Giver uses to connect the exhilliaration that having feelings and memories can provide but also the pain that they can evoke.   Another scene in the story that uses red is when Jonas sees Fiona's hair change to the color of an apple for a brief moment.  It is in this moment that Jonas is becoming aware of the differences he is feeling as compared to others in his society.  The introduction of color is very significant to the plot as it demonstrates that Jonas is absorbing the memories as they are transferred to him.  Red is the first color that he begins to see, unlike the others in his society who still see no color.  The Giver states to Jonas: "Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others." (Lowery, L.)

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