The Giver Book Summary is a 1993 American young adult dystopian novel written by Lois Lowry, set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. In the novel, the society has taken away pain and strife by converting to "Sameness", a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. In an effort to preserve order, the society also lacks any color, climate, terrain, and a true sense of equality.
The protagonist of the story, a 12-year-old boy named Jonas, is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness. Jonas struggles with concepts of the new emotions and things introduced to him, and whether they are inherently good, evil, or in between, and whether it is possible to have one without the other.
|The Giver Summary|
The Giver Summary
Lowry narrates The Giver in third person ("He said," as opposed to "I said," which is called first person), using a limited omniscient viewpoint (only Jonas' thoughts and feelings are revealed). Through Jonas' eyes, his community appears to be a utopia — a perfect place — that is self-contained and isolated from Elsewhere, every other place in the world. No evidence of disease, hunger, poverty, war, or lasting pain exists in the community.
Jonas' family, like all other families in the community, includes a caring mother and father and two children — one male child and one female child. Jonas' mother has an important job with the Department of Justice, and his father has a job as a Nurturer, taking care of newborns. Jonas has one younger sister, Lily. His family seems ideal. Each morning, they discuss their dreams that they had the previous night; during the evening meal, they share feelings about the events of the day, comforting and supporting each other according to the rules of the community.
As we learn more about Jonas' family, we also learn about the community as a whole. Family units must apply for children, spouses do not get to choose one another but, instead, are matched, and grandparents do not exist. All of a sudden, this utopia that Lowry has created doesn't seem quite right. The mood is foreboding, a feeling that something bad will happen. This mood suggests that Jonas' community is far from perfect.
A long time ago, the people in Jonas' community chose to have the community ruled by a Committee of Elders. The Committee of Elders controls everyone and everything, blasting rules and reprimands from loudspeakers located throughout the community, including in every family dwelling. A total of fifty infants are born to Birthmothers every year. Each peer group is identified by its age — for example, Threes, Sevens, Nines — and must follow specific rules about appropriate clothing, haircuts, and activities for that particular peer group. When children become Eights, they begin mandatory volunteering and are closely observed by the Committee of Elders so that the committee can assign a lifelong profession to each child at the Ceremony of Twelve, which takes place every year during the December Ceremony.
The Giver begins with Jonas' apprehension about his Ceremony of Twelve, when he will be assigned his lifelong job. He can guess which jobs his friends, Fiona and Asher, will be assigned, but he has no idea what his own job Assignment will be. At the Ceremony, Jonas learns that he has been selected to become the next Receiver of Memory, the highest position in the community.
Jonas begins training under the present Receiver of Memory, an older man whom Jonas calls The Giver. The Giver lives alone in private rooms that are lined with shelves full of books. Jonas' training involves receiving, from The Giver, all of the emotions and memories of experiences that the people in the community chose to give up to attain Sameness and the illusion of social order.
The first memory that Jonas receives from The Giver is a sled ride down a snow-covered hill. Jonas has never before experienced going downhill, cold weather, or snow. Eventually, through memories, The Giver teaches Jonas about color, love, war, and pain. Jonas begins to understand the hypocrisy that exists in his community — that is, the illusion that everything in the community is good when in fact it isn't.
The people appear to love each other, but they don't really know what love feels like because their lives are a charade; their reactions have been trained. Jonas realizes that people have given up their freedoms to feel and think as individuals, choosing instead to be controlled by others.
One day, Jonas asks The Giver if he can watch a video of a release his father performed on an infant earlier that morning. He watches and is horrified when he realizes that a release is really forced death by lethal injection. Jonas discusses his feelings with The Giver, and they decide on a plan that will force the people to give up Sameness.
However, before they can carry out their plan, Jonas learns that Gabriel, a two-year-old infant who has been staying with Jonas' family unit because Gabriel has trouble sleeping through the night, is going to be released — killed. To prevent Gabriel from being killed, Jonas takes Gabriel, whom he loves, and together they ride a bicycle out of the community to Elsewhere.
By escaping the community, all of the memories that Jonas has received from The Giver will be transmitted back to the citizens in the community, forcing them to experience feelings and emotions and to remember their past.
Jonas travels for days and days with Gabriel, who is dying from starvation and the cold weather. Finally, they come to the top of a hill where there is snow and a sled. They get on the sled and ride downhill toward music and Christmas lights. What actually happens to Jonas and Gabriel? Do they die? Are they dreaming? Do they go to a house with lights and music? Do they end up back in their original community? Do the people in the community change? All of these questions are left unanswered at the end of the book. Lowry intentionally writes an ambiguous ending so that readers can decide for themselves what happens to Jonas and Gabriel at the end of The Giver.
Questions about The Giver by Lois Lowr Plot
What is the main point of The Giver?
The main idea of The Giver is that protecting people from pain can be taken too far. The people in Jonas' community are sheltered from physical discomfort and emotional turmoil through a combination of propaganda and medication, but they miss out of most of life's joys as well.
What happens during The Giver?
In The Giver by Lois Lowry, children participate in Ceremonies from ages One through Twelve instead of celebrating their age on an individual birthday. At each Ceremony, the children receive new privileges and/or gifts indicating their expected level of maturity.
What is the conclusion of The Giver?
The Giver ends with Jonas's rejection of his community's ideal of Sameness. He decides to rescue Gabriel and escape the community, and they grow steadily weaker as they travel through an unfamiliar wintery landscape.
Why is The Giver an important story?
The Giver teaches us that a culture's memory of the past is essential, even if it includes painful realities that we would rather forget. It reminds us that if we don't understand the past, we won't have true meaning in our lives today.
Is The Giver a happy ending?
The ending to The Giver is sort of a "take it how you like it" deal. Either Jonas and Gabriel make it to Elsewhere, everyone is happy, and the world is right as rain, or… they die of exposure/starvation in the freezing snow.
What is The Giver explained?
Summary of The Giver about a society with citizens who have no memories of its past, except for the individual known as the Receiver of Memory. Citizens are not given freedom or choice. Without choice, the elders of society believe they can prevent negative elements, such as war and poverty.
Does Jonas love The Giver?
Within a year of training, he becomes extremely sensitive to beauty, pleasure, and suffering, deeply loving toward his family and the Giver, and fiercely passionate about his new beliefs and feelings.
Why did Jonas leave The Giver?
Jonas leaves the community in The Giver because he realizes that its governmental and social systems have become deeply corrupted. The people in the community are accustomed to surrendering their freedom to the Council of Elders. They ignore anything that contradicts the idea that they live in a utopia.
How did Jonas say goodbye to The Giver?
Because The Giver has the Capacity to Hear Beyond, Jonas calls out a farewell to his friend, hoping that The Giver will hear it. Also, Jonas makes use of his knowledge and abilities by transmitting a calm, peaceful memory to Gabe so that the infant will sleep until they are safely away from the community.
What are the symbols in The Giver?
he giver you learned about three symbols from The Giver by Lois Lowry: Gabriel, the sled, and the river. Gabriel represents hope and new beginnings, the sled represents journeying through memory, and the river represents escape.
What is the setting of The Giver?
The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is set in a futuristic dystopian / utopian society. Based on the evidence in the text, the place where Jonas lives seems to be a fairly small community.
Why is Jonas a hero in The Giver?
What defines a hero is a person who has the character trait of courage and their ability to put others before himself. Jonas is considered a hero because he saved Gabriel. Even though Jonas broke several laws in his community he did it to save Gabriel's life.
Who does Jonas kiss in The Giver?
When Jonas next sees Fiona, he suggests to her that she stop taking her morning injections, which is what numb the emotions in everyone. He later takes her to the Triangle, a spot where they and Asher enjoyed going to. There, Jonas kisses Fiona for the first time.
Is there love in The Giver?
When there is no love… there is no suffering and pain. This statement plays a large role in the theme of The Giver. When elders of Jonas' community decided to create their utopian world, they decided to remove love, feelings, and emotions, because they caused pain and suffering.
What is the hidden meaning of The Giver?
It shows how important memories are to this society, even though the general people are not allowed to have them. And it can also connect to our society today, because we rely on memories to ensure we don't make the same mistakes we made in the past.
Is The Giver a man?
The Giver, an elderly man with a beard and pale eyes like Jonas', is the current Receiver of Memory. He carries the burden of the memories of the world, and suffers from the pain contained within the memories.
Who is the hero in The Giver?
Jonas is the protagonist of The Giver. The novel follows Jonas's discovery of the limitations of life within the community and his ultimate rejection of Sameness.