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Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

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by

Wesley Worden

on 2 March 2011

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Transcript of Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Gathering Blue Setting It is a simple and small utopia like community. Most buildings are spartan and have no indoor plumbing, except for the Council Edifice, which is where all the members of the Council gather to make decisions about how the community will be run. There is no elelectricity. The setting of Gather Blue is in the future, and at a unknown location, but most likely in America. A Coming of Age Novel by Lois Lowry By Wesley Worden In the story, characters refer to "the Field" in which the sick and dieing or anyone that is deemeed "unuseful" are dragged to where they are to be eaten by beasts. In this society, the weak are not given special treatement, and are seen as a burden. Character Plot Conflict The conflict in Gathering Blue is Person vs Society. In the story, Kira is starting to realize the horrors of her community. She becomes the Weaver, which is the person who mends the Singer's robe. After she realizes what is wrong with her society, she is faced with the challenge of changing it. In Gathering Blue, the characters are very specific in their purposes in the plot. In the community, there are several roles that these characters fill. The Singer, who every year sings a song that contains the history of humans. This event is deemed extremely important, and it is mandatory that everyone in the community has to listen to it every year. The song is longer than three days. Thomas is the Carpenter, who engraves main points of the song onto the Singer's staff to help remind him of his place because the song is so long. Annabella is the Dyer. She knows all the right combinations to make different color threads for the Weaver, Kira. She teaches Kira all that she can about dying so that Kira can make her own colored threads. Kira is the Weaver. She repairs and maintains the Robe, which is worn by the Singer. Much like the Singer's staff, the Robe has the whole history of the human race sewn onto it. Kira is also instructed to sew new history on the robe after it happens. However, the Council will tell her what to put on the robe, so they will alter the history to hide their rule. Kira sees this after her realization. But towards the middle of the book, she becomes aware that Jaminson is very threating. Jaminson is a member of the Council. He watches over all the artists, and tells them what to do. In the beginning, Kira trusts him because he saved her in the beginning from being sent to the field. Point of View Theme Gathering Blue is a coming of age story in which the main character, Kira, transitions from a false view of world to correct view. The point of view in Gathering Blue is third person limited. The narrator is not a character in the story, and can only tell the thoughts and feelings of the main character Kira. We can only characterize the other characters by what Kira or other characters say about them. The story begins with Kira in the field because her mother had died. Kira's father is already dead, killed in a hunt by beasts before Kira was born. Kira comes back to the village to find her home was looted, and her natural enemy Vandera, has tried to steal her space for her home. They both go to the Council Edifice for a trial to decide if Kira will remain in the village because of her crippled leg. At the trial, Vandera testifys that Kira leave. To be fair, Kira has a volunteer council member defend her. Jaminson volunteers. He wins, but Kira is told she will become the new Weaver, and will live in the Council Edifice with the other Artist's. Kira's father returns and explains how he was actually almost murdered by a participant of the hunt. He explains how the community is ruled by the Council, and how the beasts are not real and just a tool to scare the public from leaving the community. This is Kira's realization. Kira can either leave or stay in the village to try to change things. Kira stays, and she has plans on how to change the community. Her father leaves, but gives her a bunch of colored threads, specifically blue because of the absence of blue thread in the village. The story ends with forshadowing to a sequel. In the story, Kira is starting to realize the horrors of her community. After she realizes that their is more behind the scenes that what the Council tells the community. The Council has been lieing to the community and has been ruling the way it wants to. The theme of Gathering Blue is that you should not be afraid to question authority because what society tells you is right isn't always right. Even more interesting, the way the community was run can be seen in different perspectives. The Council was making logical but immoral decisions. For example, cripples and disabled people are kicked out of the community and left to die in the Field. While that makes it easier for the community, it violates multiple natural rights we have as human beings. The theme of Gathering Blue also leads to many other thought provoking psychological questions, like if it is ethical to shun weaker humans for the good of everyone else.
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