What is the significance of the robe and the annual song to the social stability of this society?  

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The Robe and the Song are both historical stories that the Council shares with the people in their society. When Kira gets the job to repair and restore the robe, she realizes that it's one way the Council has of controlling people—including her and the Singer, who produce the history the Council dictates.

By controlling the history of the society, the Council is able to control how people see their own society. It creates peace because people accept that things are going to be a certain way when they see that history has always gone this way, that events led to this moment, and that things are better now.

The Ruin Song explains that there was a fiery cataclysm that ruined entire cities and societies. This frames the current experiences of the people in Kira's society by showing them that they avoided that terrible fate. It also helps keep them from pushing for more technology and more autonomy; they don't want the same fate to befall them that happened to Toronto, Bogota, or Baltimore.

The history told through the robe also encourages the people to keep trying. As Kira is working on it, she recognizes a cycle to its history. Things build and decay and then get built again. As she works, she recognizes that all the work she's repairing and restoring is that of a past Thread-Weaver. This helps her realize that she can shape the course of history in the future along with the Singer and Thomas the Carver as long as they're willing to stand up to the Guardians who want to dictate the way history is shared and passed down.

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Gathering Blue is the second novel in The Giver Quartet written by Lois Lowry. This novel is about a girl named Kira. Kira has a deformed leg. In order to avoid being sent to the fields to die, Kira accepts a job working for the Council. She is asked to repair the Singer's robe by dyeing and weaving thread into intricate designs.

The Singer in this society has an important job. He or she must sing an annual song that explains many historical events of numerous civilizations. The singer wears a special robe. Both the song and the robe are significant to this society. The song itself is representative of the fact that the Council controls society. People are forced to listen to this long song and understand the rise and fall of almost everything but the Council Edifice. This is a reminder that the Council is in control and is almost all-powerful. Each year, more lyrics are added onto the song. These lyrics also encourage the people of Kira's society to trust the Council and understand that this Council is in control.

The robe also represents the history of the society. The robe has woven images of the past. One way that the Council shows their control over the robe is by only wanting certain colors on the robe. For example, the Council does not want this robe to have the color blue on it because this color is too calming.

Both the song and the robe are subtle reminders to the villagers that the Council is the power of the society. The villagers must understand that they are to respect the Council at all costs and these things, as well as the staff and the Singer's chains, are reminders of this fact. In other words, the social stability of the society is completely dependent on the villagers trusting and following the rules of the Council.

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In Gathering Blue both the robe and the Song are methods by which the Council keeps control of society. Gathering Blue is a "companion" book of The Giver; both are set in the future after an unspecified disaster has changed the world. In Kira's society, the Council is all-powerful. Like many powerful organizations, a lot of their energy is spent on keeping that power. In Gathering Blue strict control is kept over the people's knowledge of the past. Kira's job is to add to the robe, which is a visual story of the society's past. Emphasis is on angry, hot colors such as orange and red. Blue is too peaceful for the Council's purposes, but Kira works to insert them. The Song is added to every year and is sung once per year. It serves the same purpose as the robe but in words. In general, the Council benefits from encouraging a view that death and destruction are inevitable, and that trusting in the Council is in everyone's best interests. Although you do not ask about it, there is a third symbol of the Council's control, which is the staff. It is also added to every year with new carvings, and is held by the singer of the Song, while wearing the robe.

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