This is a short video in which Lois Lowry explains where she got her ideas for the novel.
In The Giver, Jonas comes to realize that in order for people to have free will, they also have to suffer. This relates to the philosophical Problem of Evil, explained in this article.
This critical essay examines the function of memory in the novel.
This video discusses the subjective experience of perceiving different qualities in the world. It explains that color, for example, is not something that exists in the physical world, but rather something you experience in your mind. This is also true of pain and other sensations, like warmth. This ties in with the perceptions Jonas comes to have in the novel that the rest of his community has never felt and could not understand.
This article discusses Aktion T4, the Nazi initiative to euthanize disabled people against their will. Aktion T4 can be seen as a parallel for the way weak babies and the elderly are killed, or “released,” in the novel.