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The Giver

Lois Lowry

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title  · The Giver

author  · Lois Lowry

type of work  · Novel

genre  · Young adult; science fiction; fantasy; dystopia

language  · English

time and place written  · 1993; United States

date of first publication  · 1993

publisher · Houghton Mifflin

narrator  · The story is told by a third-person narrator whose point of view is limited to what Jonas observes and thinks.

point of view  · The story is told completely from Jonas’s point of view. We see all the actions and events through Jonas’s eyes and do not have access to any information to which Jonas does not have access.

tone  · Lowry uses direct, simple language with very few figures of speech or ironic comments (though Jonas and the Giver make ironic statements.) The simplicity of the language is appropriate for Lowry’s audience, children between eleven and fifteen, but it also echoes the “precision of language” demanded by Jonas’s community. Despite the simplicity, the tone is somewhat elevated, suited to the nature of Jonas’s discoveries about the richness of life.

tense  · Past

setting (time)  · An unspecified time in the future

setting (place)  · A utopian community that is part of a larger utopian society, presumably on Earth

protagonist · Jonas, an eleven-year-old boy who is chosen to be the new Receiver when he is twelve

major conflict  · Jonas’s new emotional and sensory awareness cause him to rebel against the restrictions his society places on freedom of choice, individuality, emotion, and human experience.

rising action  · When Jonas becomes the new Receiver, he receives memories that change the way he thinks about himself and his community forever.

climax  · When Jonas realizes that when his father “releases” newchildren he actually kills them, Jonas reaches a point of no return. His frustration with his community and his desire to change it have been growing steadily, and finally Jonas cannot accept the society’s insensitivity to the value of human life. He determines to change things.

falling action  · In order to put his plan into action, Jonas flees the community on bicycle with the newchild Gabe, evading search planes and enduring hunger and pain to try to bring feelings and color to his community and bring himself to the world he has dreamed of knowing.

themes  · The importance of memory; the relationship between pain and pleasure; the importance of the individual

motifs  · Vision; nakedness; release

symbols  · The newchild Gabriel; the sled; the river

foreshadowing  · Important examples of foreshadowing in The Giver include Jonas’s apprehension about the Ceremony of Twelve, which foreshadows his future disillusionment with the community; and his feeling of closeness and freedom with the old woman while he bathes her, which foreshadows his longing for grandparents and other close, personal connections.

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The Giver

by svetlana123x, November 03, 2013

I need to know what this story is about

3 Comments

44 out of 98 people found this helpful

Possible third explaination of the ending.

by i4cim2b, January 21, 2014

1. Those chosen to become receivers all had special vision. The Giver, Jonas, Rosemary and Gabriel had some thing different about their eyes.
2. It was ten years since Rosemary's release, that Jonas was chosen, Gabriel Was approximately ten years younger than Jonas and had the eyes, suggesting that he might possible be an obvious choice as a future receiver. He couldn’t sleep, possibly due to bad dreams, which could imply that he was receiving painful memories already. We know that memories can be transferred by means other than touc... Read more

4 Comments

226 out of 272 people found this helpful

The Giver question

by MinecraftMaster369, January 26, 2014

Is there a video for this book? if there is, can you comment the link for it on sparknotes??? Thanks

3 Comments

32 out of 62 people found this helpful

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