Matched Imagery

Green and Red

The colors green and red are utilized at many points throughout the book. They represent different versions of growth. Green represents the synthetic kind that the Society encourages, and red represents the raw, natural kind that Ky knows from the Outer Provinces. Green imagery comes in the form of Cassia’s Matching Banquet dress, green tablets, and public greenspaces. Red imagery comes primarily from Ky’s red, scalded hands, so colored from the heat of his hard work at the nutrition disposal center.

Bright Colors Contrasting with Dull Ones

There are many points at which Cassia observes bright colors that stand out against the dullness of their environment. At the Matching Banquet, she describes the striking hues of the dresses and suits that stand out amongst the sea of plainclothes sported by those in attendance who are not being Matched. When she visits her grandfather, she talks of the beautiful glow that the air train track creates through the gray and black of night outside the window. At the game center, she observes that only the hair colors of the gamers provide the dull room any color.

The Thunderstorm

In Chapter 11, Cassia thinks of the thunderstorm outside her school, personifying the raindrops, describing how they “slap as they hit the metal” and “sigh as they reach the grass and dirt” in the greenspace outside the game center (Page 131). The imagery is intricate, mentioning the way the rain falls in sheets, darkening the sky as it streams out of the gutters.

Destroying the Library

When Cassia visits her father’s work site in Chapter 11, she sees the workers not just incinerating books, but also ripping them apart first to make their destruction easier. The imagery describing the process is grotesque, comparing the breaking of the book bindings to cracking the bones of a back, mentioning how they crackle when stepped on. It creates a horrific scenario reminiscent of human murder, rather than that of knowledge.