Pay It Forward: How Your One Act of Kindness Could Change The Whole World

Did you know that a teen boy changed the world with just a few acts of kindness? In the book, Pay It Forward, a social studies teacher named Reuben whose face is distorted gives out an extra credit assignment. This assignment that he gives out is to think of something that causes world change an put it into action. Trevor does this assignment, creating an idea called to pay it forward. The idea of paying it forward is when a person does a random act of kindness to you and you have to “pay it forward”, or do one random act of kindness each, to three different people than the person who “paid it forward to you”.

After about a year, the idea of pay it forward spreads around the whole world. However, Trevor dies while trying to pay it forward in the end. Light is shown in many forms throughout the story and is symbolic since it represents dreams, hope, and

Light is shown as a meteor/starlight and is symbolic since it represents dreams.

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For example, Jerry, a homeless drug addict that Trevor tried to “pay it forward”, states that, “Meteor maybe, I don’t know. When I was a kid, we used to call it that a falling star. I used to think that if you saw one, you’d get your wish. You know, like all your dreams’ come true” (Hinton 44). This evidence illustrates that the meteor/starlight represents the potential of achieving dreams. Arlene and Jerry get more connected by this transfer of beliefs.

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Light is shown during the candlelight march and is symbolic since it represents hope. Additionally, Chris Chandler, an investigative reporter, says that “One commitment for every candle. Everyone said they would” (Hinton 261). This evidence explains that each candle is a commitment to the memory of Trevor and the hope that Trevor’s pay it forward idea will keep going on.

Updated: Dec 23, 2021
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Pay It Forward: How Your One Act of Kindness Could Change The Whole World. (2020, Sep 01). Retrieved from

Pay It Forward: How Your One Act of Kindness Could Change The Whole World essay
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