The hill, for Jonas
, represents a gateway to Elsewhere. Riding a red sled down the hill is his first memory and his first awareness of the color red. It signifies his realization that outside his community there is a world not dominated by Sameness. Later, Jonas dreams of the hill and feels the need "to reach the something that waited in the distance," something "good…welcoming… [and] significant." Yet, through memories of the hill, Jonas learns the precarious relationship between joy and pain; without one, the other cannot exist. Jonas's first experience with real pain is falling off the same sled that thrilled him only days earlier.