What the Apple, the Bikes, and the Comfort Objects Symbolize in The Giver by Lois Lowry

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In the book “The Giver,” every aspect of your life, from being born to dying, is carefully arranged without any opportunity for personal decision-making. The elderly, a chosen few, have complete control over your family, profession, and all aspects of existence.

Within this text, various symbols are present. One of them is an apple that represents a significant occurrence in the community. In this particular society, people are born with color blindness and cannot see certain colors. However, during a game of catch involving Jonas and his friend Ash, something remarkable happened with an apple. While it was in the air, Jonas had a sensation that there was something peculiar about it but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was. Consequently, he asked Ash if he had noticed anything unusual about the apple.

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Both Ash and Jonas threw the apple without noticing anything unusual. Jonas was left bewildered by the situation as he continuously inspected the apple, only to find it restored when it returned to his hands. Despite Jonas’ persistence in checking, Ash found amusement in the situation and laughed at him. Eventually, Jonas gave up on further inspections.

The bikes symbolize defiance in the story. Despite the rule prohibiting children under eight from riding bikes, Jonas disobeyed it and taught his seven-year-old sister how to ride so she would be prepared for when she received her own bike. Learning to ride at seven was a common practice before turning eight. When the nine-year-olds got their bikes, they were amazed that the new eight-year-olds already knew how to ride and could start immediately. However, most people overlooked that these newly turned eights had learned this skill without any official instruction.

Last but not least, the comfort object. Most children seven and younger sleep with stuffed animals, which are given to them as comfort objects when they are born. Lily, Jonas’s younger sibling, got an elephant as her comfort object. Gabe, a newborn, received a Hippopotamus, which Lily found amusing. When the children reach eight years old, their comfort objects are taken away and passed down to younger children.

If you analyze it, their lives are completely governed without any freedom, from birth to demise. I have selected three symbols from this narrative: The apple represents the community’s lack of diversity, the bike signifies the transition into adulthood at the age of eight, and the comfort object serves as a sleeping companion for the sevens and younger.

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What the Apple, the Bikes, and the Comfort Objects Symbolize in The Giver by Lois Lowry. (2023, Apr 12). Retrieved from


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