Free Study Guide for The Giver by Lois Lowry|
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The Value of Freedom to Make Choices
Sometimes we make the wrong choice, but, even so, the freedom to make choices outweighs any good that would come from losing our ability to make choices. Jonas, who has gone through his entire childhood without making a choice, begins to make choices after he starts receiving memories from the Giver. He learns what he has been missing. He knows that the freedom to make choices is the key to getting the most out of life. The choice that he makes to leave the community helps the community as well as himself, Gabriel and the Giver. Jonasís choice to leave the community seems to have extra value because it will enable the community itself to begin making choices.
The Relationship between Pain and Pleasure
A memory of pain gives meaning to pleasure. In the community, life is monotonous because pleasurable things do not have the value that a memory of pain would give them. Pain is not felt as fully as it would be if the person experiencing it had knowledge of pleasure. In the community, due to lack of memories of pain and pleasure, feelings are muted. As Jonas receives the memories, he is better able to experience pain and pleasure. This gives his life added richness. He wants to share this richness with his community, especially with his friends and family.
The Value of a Multi-generational Family
The family in which Jonas grew up was only a temporary grouping of parents and children. When Jonas and then Lily grow up, it is expected that Father and Mother will live with the Childless Adults until they go to the House of the Old. Jonas and Lily will no longer be in contact with them. As Jonas receives memories, he is exposed to memories of households that include grandparents, households filled with love shared by three generations. He is very impressed by the love that he finds in such households. He desires to live like that.
The Importance of Making Connections
Memories are important. Sharing them is also important. Connecting with people with whom we can share memories enriches our lives. The feeling of being connected to the past that comes from memories of the past is also enriching. Having connections makes pleasurable memories more pleasurable and painful memories less painful. As Jonas gains memories, he has an increasing need to connect with his family and friends, a need that they cannot meet because they have no memories. He proceeds to solve the problem in a way. Because of Jonasís departure from the community and his journey toward Elsewhere, the community recaptures the memories. We can assume that soon, with the help and support of the Giver, they will be able to love and make connections. However, Jonas is not planning to return to the community.
The Value of Diversity
The community in which Jonas lives has, many generations before Jonas, moved to what they call Sameness. Those who set up the new way believed that Sameness solved many problems. By getting rid of diversity, life is simpler, but it also lacks the richness that diversity gives. Without diversity it was easier to gain control of what was left. As Jonas receives memories, he learns that it was a bad trade-off.
The Importance of Honesty
We learn, with Jonas, the importance of honesty. When Jonas finds out that he can lie, he realizes that other Twelves may have also been given that permission. He can no longer feel sure about anything that is or has been told to him. Anything he has been told is now open to question. The situation worsens when Jonas discovers that his father lied to him about releasing a newchild. Jonas does accept the Giverís statement that, although he has permission, he does not lie to him.
Limited omniscient. The story is told from Jonasís point of view by someone who observed Jonas, who knew what Jonas was thinking and experiencing, but who only learned what others were thinking and experiencing as Jonas learned these things.
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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Giver".
. 09 May 2017