The Giver Study Guide

The Giver Study Guide

Original title:
The Giver

Lois Lowry wrote “The Giver” in 1993. The next year this strong book received the highest award in the young adult literature field, the Newbery Medal. Born on Hawaii Island and educated at Brown and Maine, it’s hard to say where the author drew inspiration to write about such serious and solemn concepts.

At the beginning of a book the reader finds himself in a utopian society. Everything is ideal and works perfectly: the world knows no maladies or wars; people don’t fight with each other over small or big things. Everybody is entitled to a job he or she suits the best, every family has children, society takes care of the elderly. Everybody is the same and those who don’t fit are released.

Jonas is an 11-year old boy, who lives in a happy family. His father works at a place where children are born and kept until age of one, his mother works for the judicial system and he also has a sister of 7 years old. He is about to turn 12 and be assigned a job by the system.

Jonas becomes one and only keeper of the society’s memory. Turns out the price for achieving ideal state is getting rid of feelings, memories, emotions, and impressions. All these feelings bring color to life. Jonas finds out that without memories of pain one cannot experience the joy of love. He uses positive collective memories to support the citizens who are going through a difficult period. Finally he decides to bring his community into a colorful life again.

Even though through Jonas eyes his life is a utopia, the book is actually a dystopia. It is an unexpected genre for children literature, especially in the beginning of the 1990s. With somewhat of a reassuring ending, the author manages to leave a good impression after reading the book. She encourages us to be grateful for all the color, emotions and impressions we experience in our lives.


New Essays

The Giver - Book Review

In her book ‘The Giver’, Lois Lowry has created a futuristic utopian community where there are no feelings, no choices and Sameness prevails. Sameness, as the name suggests, is the idea that all aspects of life are almost invariably the same for all community members and life itself has no choices...

The Giver-Themes

THEMES ANALYSIS of THE GIVER The Importance of Memory This story developed from the author’s understanding of the importance of memory, an understanding which came from her observation of someone who no longer had their memory. When one has no memory they cannot remember painful episodes in their...

The Giver-Chapter 1 Summary

December is coming around the corner. Jonas is trying to find the right word to describe his feelings. He thinks he is frightened, and then decides that frightened is the wrong word to describe his feelings. Frightened is when an unidentified aircraft flies over his community and orders everyone...

The Giver

As we finish Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver, you will be writing an essay which analyzes her style and message. When authors tell a story, their goal is not only to tell a good story, but to tell it well, and to tell it in a way that communicates a deeper message. Writers use the elements of...

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