As with many dystopian novels, The Giver depicts a society whose values are very different from the implied values of the author, but it never explicitly states this divide. The impersonal narrator of the novel, lacking personal views, never directly criticizes the values of Jonas's community. Such criticisms must come either from one of the characters (such as Jonas) or through suggestion and irony. A perfect example of irony, a technique in which a word comes to have the opposite of its usual meaning, is when we discover that part of the job of being a “Nurturer” is to kill children. Although the narrator does not condemn the injection Jonas's father gives to the newchild, we can infer that Lowry disagrees with this practice.  

Another example of irony is revealed in a short anecdote that is told in Chapter 4. Lowry writes that once there was an Eleven who “had not completed the required numbers of volunteer hours and would not, therefore, be given his Assignment.” She goes on to write that this was “a disgrace that had clouded his entire future.” If children are punished for not volunteering, then the work they are expected to do is in fact compulsory rather than voluntary. Again, Lowry does not directly comment that this is unjust, but the injustice is implied through the irony of the word “volunteer.” This misuse appears doubly ironic when we remember that in the community, children are punished for using language imprecisely.  

In order to create the illusion that the events of the novel are real, the narrator often speaks to us as though we already understand the world they are describing. About the colleagues of Jonas's father, Lowry writes, “Most of the people on the night crew had not even been given spouses because they lacked, somehow, the essential capacity to connect to others.” Notice that the narrator does not explain that in this society people do not have the freedom to choose their own partner, as though we already know this to be true, even though this is the first mention of the marital customs of the community. Similarly, the first time Lowry describes the family sharing its feelings, she writes “Their parents, of course, were part of the ritual.” The words “of course” make it sound as though we too are part of the world and understand its habits.