The Giver

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The Snow-covered Hill Symbol Analysis

The Snow-covered Hill Symbol Icon
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.
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The Snow-covered Hill Symbol Timeline in The Giver

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Snow-covered Hill appears in The Giver. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
...Receiver places his hands on Jonas's back and transmits the memory of sledding down a hill: Jonas does not just remember the activity, he feels the cold air and the snowflakes... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
That night Jonas dreams he is at the top of a snow-covered hill, needing to reach whatever is waiting at the bottom. The next morning, during dream-telling, he... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
When he reaches the top of the hill, Jonas recognizes it. He also sees a sled. Jonas and Gabriel ride the sled downhill.... (full context)