Free Study Guide for The Giver by Lois Lowry|
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The novel, The Giver shares many similarities with other dystopian novels like Brave New World and 1984. In each, a society is depicted which has sought to normalize everyone and eliminate basic human feelings and expressions to eliminate conflict and better the society.
We see many of the same patterns here: The community has sought to eliminate pain and suffering and provide peace for all of those who conform to the rules. In order to do so, they seek to eliminate human emotion and individual freedom to prevent chaos and harm in the utopian society.
Everyone works for the good and betterment of the society and not for themselves. Individual freedoms are repressed by harsh rules.
The community imposes absolute restrictions on memories/thoughts, sexual activity, reproduction, and the family. On the surface this utopian community of the future seems perfect. Everyone does what is expected of them and there seems to be no conflict.
In other dystopian novels, main characters eventually become uncomfortable and untrusting of the rigid rules and the strictly defined structure of the society. In their rebellion from authority, they eventually are led down a path of self-destruction and collapse. In this novel, while Jonas does revolt against the control and direction of the community, the ultimate outcome is left with the optimistic feeling that Jonas has succeeded in escaping to a better place.
While the reader is left alone to fill in the specific answers to the many questions that spring to mind at the end of the novel, Lowry has stated, "I made the ending ambiguous on purpose. "Ambiguous" means that it can have different explanations. I like to leave it that way so that each reader can use his or her imagination and decide what is happening. But I do think it is a happy ending."
It is somewhat unusual to take on sensitive topics such as birth control, euthanasia, and sexual activity frankly in a young adult novel. Because of this, the book has been somewhat controversial, with many parents feeling that it should not be made available to young children.
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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Giver".
. 09 May 2017