Symbolism and Theme in "The Giver."

Essay by RichardxRomanceHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2005

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Symbolism and themes are difficult to infer in a text, but understanding these literary elements makes the book more interesting and entertaining for the reader. Symbolism is defined using a concrete word, object, color, picture, name and so forth to strand for a name, abstract idea, image, or event. For example a heart could stand for love and an American flag as freedom or patriotism. Theme could be defined as a meaning moral or main message the writer is trying to tell you or the reader about the story. Theme is usually the "life lesson" or provide to human nature. Lois Lowery's "The Giver" contains symbolism and a powerful theme that makes the book more appealing to the reader.

Much symbolism in "The Giver" centers on the community and its rituals. The society with all of its rules and regulations, symbolizes the sameness, the interdependence, and longing for perfection of its members.

For example when the children are given to the family unit in the naming ceremony it symbolizes that they are accepted into the community and becomes apart of the community by being given a name. Another example of symbolism is the pills that the people have to take when they start having feelings for the opposite sex. This symbolizes maturity because of the attraction and need to take the pills but then it symbolizes the control of the committee of elders that are making them take these pills so that they have no personal feelings what so ever.

The character names in "The Giver" are also symbolic, often highlighting their personalities, qualities, and actions. For example, Jonas means accomplishing. Jonas is also a biblical character who warns his town of the wickedness and that is what Jonas does in this story. Once he realizes the wickedness,