The overall style of The Giver is a plain and matter-of-fact. The Giver is set in a world where variation has been minimized in preference to “Sameness,” where there is no color and no visual beauty. Appropriately, Lowry mostly uses an unadorned, sometimes repetitive style to present that world. The apple Jonas takes from the recreation area is described as a “nondescript shade, about the same shade as his own tunic.” Lowry goes on to say, “There was absolutely nothing remarkable about that apple.”  

However, this style sharply contrasts with the way Lowry writes about the memories that Jonas receives from the Giver. For instance, when Jonas first experiences snow, “[H]e could see a bright, whirling torrent of crystals in the air around him, and he could see them gather on the backs of his hands, like cold fur.” The snow drops, which appear as crystals to Jonas, are given much more vibrancy than the apple. This image of snow, which is a memory, is made dynamic with the verb “whirling” and the imaginative simile which compares the fallen snow to an animal's fur. Lowry's variation in style highlights the contrast between the world of Jonas's community and the world that existed before. 

The way the characters speak to each other is characterized by a formal, almost legalistic register. When Asher is late for school, he says, “I apologize for inconveniencing my learning community,” and his class responds in unison, “We accept your apology, Asher.” These phrases are pre-learned and lack the rhythms of ordinary speech. Characters reveal their conformity to society and lack of individual personalities by speaking in this way. In a similar vein, Jonas's father describes how Lily joined the family: “We knew, of course, that we'd receive our female because we'd made our application and been approved.” The terms “application” and “approved” suggest bureaucratic processes devoid of emotion for stages in life we might consider very emotional and personally profound.  

Lowry's style is also characterized, like many dystopian novels are, by repeated use of neologisms and euphemisms. Neologisms are newly coined words that, in the case of The Giver, stand in for more familiar words, revealing something about the community Jonas lives in. For instance, babies are referred to as “newchildren,” stuffed animals are called “comfort objects,” and biological mothers are referred to as “Birthmothers.” Unlike in our world, women are not allowed to raise the children they give birth to, creating a need to distinguish between mothers (who do the work of parenting) and “Birthmothers” (who are simply expected to reproduce, but not to form a bond with their children). Euphemisms act as replacements for common expressions in order to conceal the cruelties of the dystopian society. The instruments used for corporal punishments are called “discipline wands,” rather than some more obviously violent name. When weak babies or rule-breakers are executed by the community, it is said that they have been “released” instead of killed. This allows the community members to avoid thinking about the violence that lies behind these acts.