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The Giver

The Giver


by Lois Lowry

 Table of Contents

The Giver Themes

The Giver Themes

Memory and the Past

In The Giver, memories are a source of wisdom, but also of pain. We learn that the latter is the cost of the former. We learn from mistakes, and without the memory of those mistakes, we cannot acti...

Rules and Order

Because The Giver is an anti-utopian novel, rules and orders are negatively portrayed. They are used to take away freedom, choice, and individuality. The citizens of the novel's overly-controlled "...


In The Giver, we learn that choices about the future cannot be made without knowledge of the past. Because the characters in the novel have no memory, they can not actively decide anything. Instead...

Language and Communication

In the highly-controlled society featured in The Giver, the rules govern a strict "precision of language." The irony comes in when the reader realizes that, in a world with no real depth of emotion...


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 so...


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 s...

Old Age

In the controlled society depicted in The Giver, old age is seemingly treated with respect. When we look closer, though, it becomes clear that the wisdom which the elderly have to offer is wasted....

Tradition and Customs

Much like rules and laws, traditions and customs are used to control in The Giver. They often disguise the reality of a situation; ritual chanting hides the pain of death. Ritual tellings give mean...

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