This is an analysis of how the woods and fake I.d’s are being used as symbolism to contribute to identity being effected by the government in Among The Hidden by Margarett Peterson Haddix.


In the novel Among The Hidden, author Margret Peterson Haddix shows how identity can be effected by a tyranical government through symbolism. The author uses the woods to represent the little bit of freedom that Luke had that was taken away, making him realize how painful hiding actually is. Later on in the work Fake I.D’s are used to represent the goverments power to control who is allowed to be included in the society they deem fit. Margret Peterson Haddix conveys the start of Lukes journy in identifying himself and his part in this world.
“ I will never be allowed outside again. Maybe never as long as I live.” with this dramatic start to the novel you find out that Luke Garner, an illegal third child in hiding and has to say goodbye to the only thing he has ever known, the woods. To set the stage Luke is a third son along with his two older brothers Mathew and Mark. In this futuristic society citizens are only allowed to have two children, making Luke the odd man out. While Luke grew up it was okay to hide because he lives on a farm, but now the government bought their land and are building baron homes. Barons are rich inercity government officials and workers, they are the high class in the society presented in the work. With the new development of these homes this means that Luke will no longer be allowed outside which very well might be his livelyhood.
Following the loss of the woods Luke is imprisoned in his own home, not literally of course, but he has to hide even more cautiously now that the Garner’s have Baron neighbors so close. “"You can't look out at all," Dad said. "I mean it From now on, just stay away from the windows. And don't go into a room unless we've got the shades or curtains pulled."” This pushes Luke to find other ways to see out into the world, he finds a vent in the attic (his room) that he can see out of and no one else can see in. The plot thickens. One day he catches a glimpse of another third child and risks it all by storming her house. He meets Jen. Jen is another third child but has a more normal life because the things money can buy. Luke asks jen why she doesn’t just get a fake I.D. “But getting one of those I.D.'s—that's just a different way of hiding. I want to be me and go about like anybody else. There's no compromise.” A fake I.D symbolizes thegovernments hold on their identities. The only difference between Luke and his brothers is that he was born third and is forced into hiding by the government.
The story conlcudes with the death of Jen while fighting for her freedom and for all third childrens freedom. Luke understands now who he needs to be for himself and for Jen. He needs to be fearless and take down the government from the inside at a slow steady pace. “I want to do something with my life. Figure out ways to help other third kids. Make—" All the things he'd thought of sounded too childish to explain, in the face of Mother's sobbing”. This is the first step to him discovering who he is and who he aims to be in the face of all the hiding and heartache he has had to bear. The Symbols help lead Luke to the person he will eventually be. His true Identity.
(A.B. 2016)