Gilead Imagery

The Photograph of Ames's Father

The photograph of Ames's grandfather is potent and memorable: missing an eye, wild-haired, a terrible stare, a crooked beard, and an emaciated frame. It accurately reveals his eccentric, angry, and passionate personality.

Ames's Son

Ames's depictions of his son are always very rich in terms of imagery: his son on a swing, playing in the sprinklers, playing baseball, and so on. They are potent especially because they are so meaningful to Ames.

The Photograph of Jack's Family

The photograph of Jack, his wife, and his son is an important image because it allows Ames to see the truth of Jack's situation and to act as a corrective to the idea that Jack is bereft of feeling or relatability.


The biscuit covered with flakes of ash, the books being buried, the old women dancing with their hair hanging down, and the blackened ruins of the church all create a stunning mental image--one that has forever remained imprinted on Ames's mind.