A Colorful Journey through Fiction: The Giver and Pleasantville

Adam J. Myers, English teacher, West Mecklenburg High School




Rainbows are colorful and sometimes fiction can be too.  Within fiction, colors are often used to enhance plot, setting, character, conflicts, and themes.  This unit is designed to analyze the use of color within the novel The Giver written by Lois Lowry and the film Pleasantville directed by Gary Ross.  Both depict colorless worlds in which characters are amazed to discover that colors exist.

The unit is designed for freshmen English students.  Throughout the unit, students will analyze how color impacts literary devices. In addition, students are asked to compare their own lives to those of the characters within the film and novel.  Through writing, discussing, and analyzing, students will explore how important color is within the world and the impact it has on them as individuals.  Students will also learn interesting facts about the history of color and how it is perceived.The final culminating assignment consists of students writing and delivering a speech from the perspective of a color.  Students will personify a color and relate the significance it has both within the fiction and within our current society.