What are the physical descriptions of Asher in The Giver?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Asher looks like everyone else in the community.

Most of the citizens of the community look alike.  We are not sure exactly what they look like, but we know that they have dark eyes and pink skin tones.  They all also dress alike and have the same "neatly trimmed" hair in a "manly short style which exposed their ears."  There is no color, so they all wear the same nondescript tunics and jackets.  For older children, the jackets button down the front.  Asher’s number is Four, so he was one of the first children in their year to be born.  This means he might be a little bigger than the other kids his age.

Asher is playful and clumsy.  He stands out from his community not by his looks, but by his personality. He mixes up words, drops balls, and gets distracted.  Jonas is concerned about what assignment he will get in the Ceremony of Twelve, since he does not seem to have an adult bone in his body.

"I worry a little about Asher's Assignment," Jonas confessed.  "Asher's such fun. But he doesn't really have any serious interests.  He makes a game out of everything." (Ch. 2)

His parents tell him that the elders know Asher, and that they will figure out what to do with him.  The community’s goal is to provide each child with an assignment that fits his or her personality.

In a community that demands conformity, Asher stands out.  Jonas stands out for physical reasons, because of his light eyes.  Asher, on the other hand, stands out because of his goofy behavior.  The community prefers for everyone to act properly and in a state of complete control.  Asher was beaten when he was younger for using the wrong words.  The experience traumatized him so much that he actually stopped talking for a period of time.

Jonas considers Asher’s behavior “lively foolishness.”  He does not take it seriously. Asher is chosen to be the Assistant Director of Recreation, so he can continue to play all of the time.  The job is a good fit.  After the assignments, Jonas and Asher are not as close.  No one really knows what to think of Jonas’s assignment.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team