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The Giver

The Giver


by Lois Lowry

The Giver Theme of Suffering

In The Giver, we see examples of both physical and emotional suffering. Both types are memories of a distant past since, in this futuristic world, neither exists any longer. The novel argues that suffering, while horrible and painful, is an integral part of the human experience. Without it, we can't hope to learn from the past and make informed decisions to better the future.

Questions About Suffering

  1. What kind of suffering is worse in The Giver—physical or emotional?
  2. Why does The Giver choose to give Rosemary only emotional or mental pain? Was that a good call?
  3. Are there benefits to suffering in The Giver? Is the community kind of screwed because of their decision to eliminate pain?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The Giver argues that suffering must be dealt with in isolation.

The Giver argues that the only way to cope with suffering is by sharing the burden with others.

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