What are important objects in Gathering Blue?

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Lowry describes five significant objects in Gathering Blue. These objects are described in detail and/or are referenced multiple times. Each of them has a symbolic meaning as well as being important to the plot and characterization in the novel.

Kira's walking stick appears early in the story. Because of Kira's congenital disability, she cannot walk without the aid of the stick she leans on. This object represents Kira's disability and her "otherness." She barely escaped infanticide--the normal consequence of disability in her culture. Yet her mother taught her that her pain made her strong, so ironically, the stick represents Kira's strength as well.

Kira's scrap of cloth that speaks to her and reflects her mood and warns her of danger is another important object. This little stitched square represents Kira's unique talent as an artist. It also shows her intuitive nature.

Kira's mother's pendant that Kira now wears around her neck anchors Kira to those who once loved her and protected her. Unlike most people in the village, Kira's parents seemed to truly love each other, and Kira's mother and grandfather protected Kira, not allowing the community to euthanize her as a baby. When Kira's father appears, wearing the matching necklace, Kira is able to identify him immediately. Though they have never met, they bond instantly, as represented by the matching pendants.

The singer's robe and the singer's staff are the other two important objects in the story. They are the reasons Kira and Thomas have been taken by the Council to live and work in the Edifice. They represent the life of the community, with its good qualities and bad qualities. They also represent the future since each has a blank portion which Kira and Thomas will fill when the time comes. 

These five objects further the plot and characterization of the story while acting as important symbols that reinforce the novel's themes.

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