The Giver Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Giver

Where Jonas lives, life is safe, orderly, and predictable. Rules are strictly adhered to; every aspect of a person's life is carefully planned. People rarely make choices on their own; everything is decided for them by the community. There is no snow or sunshine, no colors or music, no animals or nature. When Jonas and other Elevens become Twelve in December, they receive their Assignments that assign them to their particular fields of profession. As someone with intelligence, integrity, courage, and a certain special capacity, Jonas is selected for the most honored and respected Assignment in the community. He is assigned to become a Receiver of Memories who will succeed the current Receiver. A Receiver of Memories is the one person in the community who has access to all the memories of the past. He must keep these memories within himself until he can train a new Receiver to whom he can pass them.
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Thus, the Receiver has knowledge of things that no one in the community has access to, but the Receiver also has the responsibility to shoulder the burden of sorrow and pain that the memories bring. Jonas begins his training with the Receiver whom he calls The Giver. At first, The Giver gives Jonas happy memories of the past-memories of things Jonas has never known. Jonas is eager and excited to be able to experience new things. But The Giver must also give Jonas memories of loneliness, fear, grief, rage, and pain-all of which he has never felt in the community. Gradually, through the memories he receives from The Giver, Jonas comes to realize the various truths about the community. He realizes that it is unfair to deprive people of ever being able to make choices for themselves about their own lives. He understands that the people of the community have no genuine feelings. Feelings have never been a part of their lives. He also learns that there are different ways to live. Through the memories, he sees people in the past living differently, and feels that the community must change.
Together with The Giver, Jonas comes up with a plan to change the entire community. He decides to flee the community for the Elsewhere, a place he has only heard about that lies far beyond. If Jonas leaves, the memories he has received from The Giver will be let loose. They will find their way back to the community and to the people. The people will have ready access to the memories that will, in turn, give them knowledge about things that have been missing in their lives. They will come to the same kind of awakening that Jonas did when he was given memories of the past from The Giver.

The review of this Book prepared by yassmin

Imagine a society where no one can see in colour - everything is monochromatic. Imagine a society where spouses are selected, children are assigned to parents, names are predetermined, and jobs are selected for its citizens. In ‘The Giver', these decisions are the responsibility of a committee of elders. Hills make transportation difficult, and snow makes the growing season shorter. Every-thing is perfect. There is no hunger, poverty, or war. Lois Lowry portrays her idea of a utopian society.

Jonas, the main character, is eleven years old as the story begins. When he turns twelve, he receives his Assignment, or occupation, as it is called. Many people have a general idea of what Assignment they will receive based upon what they have done during their mandatory service hours. Jonas, however, has volunteered in a variety of places, and has no idea. During the Ceremony of Twelve where Jonas receives his Assignment, he is shocked to find that he has been singled out to become the new Receiver. Jonas alone will receive private training from the Giver, who holds the memories of what ordinary life was like. The Giver has memories of colours, of hills and snow, and of ordinary family life. Once these memories have been transmitted, they will belong to him. After just a year as Receiver, however, Jonas can no longer bear this responsibility. A shocking discovery creates a desire to bring the community back to reality.

Lois Lowry portrayed Jonas's community as a haven, however it is actually an evil place lacking uniqueness, and full of deceit and trickery. The story was filled with suspense, and was written with detailed de-scriptions and used extremely good literature – it included many challenging words and many different parts of speech. The world she created, in which everything is the same and differences are considered as insults, added to the story's interest and indeed showed off Lois Lowry's professionalism.The Giver is a fascinating book about a fictional utopian society.
The review of this Book prepared by Delian Entchev

Jonas, the preteen protagonist of The Giver, lives in an authoritarian dystopia where safety takes precedence over individuality. This is a world free of pain, violence, and hunger. It is also a world without love, colors, music, or memories. The entire memory of society is held by one person, the Receiver of Memories. Chosen to be the next Receiver, Jonas begins his training, receiving memories from the current Receiver (who to Jonas becomes the Giver). Feeling genuine emotions for the first time, Jonas realizes the drawbacks of his society's way of life, but realizes also the futility of any attempt at change. The bittersweet ending of the tale involves the heroic resolution of Jonas's moral dilemma.
The review of this Book prepared by Billy Pashaie

The Giver is the story of 12 year old Jonas, who lives in a utopian community where sameness is valued and everyone has his or her place is the world assigned to them. Jonas is assigned the job of Receiver of Memory. But Jonas soon discovers the lies his community is based upon, and rebels, taking "newchild" Gabriel with him.

The review of this Book prepared by Margaret Dorer

    Imagine a world created to perfection. There is no war, or famine, drugs, or disease. No one knows the meaning of pain and everyone has a part in the Community. This is Jonas's world.
    Jonas, a twelve year old boy, never knew any alternative life to that of the Community. So, when his twelve-year-old ceremony comes around, he isn't expecting much. But, during the ceremony, Jonas is specially selected to be trained by the Giver. The Giver holds the mysteries of the past and the memories of true pain and pleasure. Jonas is destined to become the next Giver. But, can he handle the past?
The review of this Book prepared by Gwen

The main character lives in a very modern town. It is so modern that everyone's lives are monitored. The main character's job is picked out for him. He has a very special job that is rare. He is chosen to be The Giver. Jonas, the main character recieves special training from the current Giver. Jonas gets fed up with life in his town when he finally realizes that there's more than just that little town he lives in, so he decides to escape and lives a better life.
The review of this Book prepared by Melissa Minto

Jonas' world is perfect. There is food for everyone, two kids to each couple, no violence, and a perfect job for everyone. But when Jonas turns 12, he recieves the job of "The Receiver of Memories". When Jonas starts his job, he learns that his world isn't as perfect as it seems.
The review of this Book prepared by Katherine Mitchell

The Giver is a story about a utopian cult-like society that takes away colour and many other things to create a rigid system of requirements and uniformity. The main character is chosen to harbour all of the "memories" of Earth life before(a.k.a., normal Earth life). Wishing to know and understand these memories better and eventually learning the truths of the twisted society he lives in, he attempts to flee and restore the society to the way it should be.
The review of this Book prepared by Ferris

Jonas lives in a society with no illness, no poverty, no crime, no unhappiness, and no freedom. He is chosen to be the community's Reciever of Memories, the only person who knows the history and past of the world where he lives. He is taught by The Giver, the last memory holder, and slowly learns the truth about this repressive utopia. Eventually, Jonas realizes that the builders and rulers of this society have sacrificed their humanity for a painless existence, and decides he cannot let things continue as they are.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy

Chapter Analysis of The Giver

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 27.5%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 35%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 27.5% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Repressive society story    -   Yes Repressive because:    -   drugs you    -   controls your sex    -   kills without good reason    -   strict rationing of freedoms/goods Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's a slave/repressed?    -   humans are slaves of other humans

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid


Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century)    -   medium future 22-24th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed

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Lois Lowry Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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