by Lois Lowry
The Giver Theme of Isolation
In The Giver, certain duties necessitate isolation. To gain knowledge and wisdom, for example, is to separate oneself from those without such abilities. This is in part because learning requires solitary reflection, and in part because it's hard to identify with anyone who doesn't share the same wisdom. Being isolated also increases the pain of suffering; with no one to share the weight, the burden is that much greater.
Questions About Isolation
- What is it about his duties as Receiver that isolates Jonas from others?
- Does Jonas isolate himself, or do his friends ostracize him?
- The Giver and Jonas have to bear the memories on their own. How does this sort of isolation change the way they interpret and deal with their knowledge?
Chew on This
Jonas is only able to form close bonds with the very young or the very old because they, too, are exempt from the community's restrictions.