Gathering Blue

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Annabella Character Analysis

An old woman who lives in the forest and teaches both Katrina and Kira the arts of weaving. Annabella is immensely old, and thus respected for her wisdom. Like Kira, she is kind to others, even those like Matt who are often perceived as obnoxious. She is the first to tell Kira that there are no beasts surrounding their village. She dies mysteriously soon after telling Kira this.

Annabella Quotes in Gathering Blue

The Gathering Blue quotes below are all either spoken by Annabella or refer to Annabella. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Houghton Mifflin edition of Gathering Blue published in 2012.
Chapter 11 Quotes

Annabella laughed. "There be no beasts," she said.

Related Characters: Annabella (speaker)
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

In this section, Annabella tells Kira a surprising truth about her community. Like everyone else she knows, Kira has been brought up to believe that the village is surrounded by dangerous beasts. The existence of these beasts requires that everyone live in fear, compete with one another for limited food and shelter, and depend on the protection of the Guardians to survive.

Lowry suggests that the constant sense of fear in Kira's village is just an illusion--Kira and her neighbors have nothing to be afraid of. So although Kira doesn't yet realize it, the nonexistence of the beasts tells us a lot about how the Guardians maintain power over their people. By creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, the Guardians ensure that the villagers remain weak, disorganized, and above all, dependent on the Guardians' authority.

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Annabella Character Timeline in Gathering Blue

The timeline below shows where the character Annabella appears in Gathering Blue. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
...mother’s death. Jamison notes that Katrina’s old teacher, Annabel, now so old that she’s called Annabella, can be used to teach Kira. (full context)
Chapter 7
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
...do this, Kira says that she learns quickly. Jamison says that he’ll send Kira to Annabella, who lives in the woods. He also notes that Kira has plenty of time before... (full context)
Chapter 8
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
...meets Matt and tells him that she wants to go to the woods to see Annabella. Matt wants to come with her, reasoning that she’ll need his protection. Kira says that... (full context)
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Kira and Matt walk through the forest to Annabella. As they walk, Kira asks Matt about his father. Matt can’t remember anything about his... (full context)
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
...small cottage, inside which Matt sees an old woman. Kira enters the cottage, and finds Annabella sitting inside. She greets Kira, who introduces Matt and Branch. Annabella tells Kira to sit,... (full context)
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
Annabella gives Kira a lesson in weaving. Each plant corresponds to a different color: red, yellow,... (full context)
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...learned the names of plants with which she can produce a large number of dyes. Annabella gives her a bag of colored threads, but tells her that she must learn to... (full context)
Chapter 9
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
It is the evening after Kira visited Annabella. Back in her quarters of the Council Edifice, Kira examines the robe she is to... (full context)
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
Kira falls into a schedule: she visits Annabella regularly, but spends most of her day working on the robe. She also begins to... (full context)
Chapter 11
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
A short time after the events of the previous chapter, Kira visits Annabella in her cottage. She goes there alone, a little frightened, since Matt has grown bored... (full context)
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
As Kira and Annabella boil coneflowers, Kira tells Annabella again that she was frightened about wild beasts on her... (full context)
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
...hard to believe that beasts don’t exist, he suggests that he and Kira should believe Annabella, since her name has four syllables. Before they can discuss the matter any further, Thomas... (full context)
Chapter 12
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
...gray or green, never blue. She longs for blue, the color of calm, and remembers Annabella telling her that there is blue “yonder.” As she thinks about “yonder,” she wonders where... (full context)
Chapter 13
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
...excellent, and better than her mother’s. He asks Kira if she’s able to walk to Annabella’s cottage every day, and mentions that he’ll install a fire pit in the Edifice so... (full context)
Chapter 14
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...her conversation with Jamison, Kira wakes up groggy and prepares for her daily walk to Annabella’s cottage. Before she leaves, she notices that Thomas’s door is closed. He must be sleeping,... (full context)
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Kira walks to Annabella’s cottage. On her way, a woman named Marlena, who works at the weaving shed, greets... (full context)
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
...yesterday, Marlena says — arrives at the weaving shed with Branch, and tells Kira that Annabella was taken to the Field earlier that morning. Kira is upset and surprised to hear... (full context)
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
Back in her quarters, Kira finds Jamison waiting for her. He tells her, sadly, that Annabella has died. Kira, who’s suddenly uneasy around Jamison, does not mention Jo to him. (full context)
Chapter 15
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
It’s the day after Kira learned of Annabella’s death. She is standing in her quarters with Thomas, looking out her window at the... (full context)
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
Kira thinks about her conversation with Jamison yesterday. Jamison told her that Annabella had died peacefully in her sleep; she may have died because she’d completed Kira’s education.... (full context)
Chapter 20
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
...cloth. After stealing food from his mother in preparation for his long journey, he followed Annabella’s advice that blue was out “yonder.” With Branch, he walked through the forest, never encountering... (full context)
Chapter 23
Art and Creative Instinct Theme Icon
Self-Interest versus Compassion  Theme Icon
Power and Freedom Theme Icon
Pain and Maturity Theme Icon
...themselves, can commission and control a vision of the future they want. Kira thinks of Annabella, who once told her that small woad shoots survive after a storm and go on... (full context)