Study Guide

The Giver: Choice Theme

By Lois Lowry


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, they are governed by a strict set of rules which doesn't allow for free will. With little individuality and no freedom, choice is a foreign concept. The argument for such a system is that choice is inherently dangerous. Indeed, the novel says, this is true—but isn't free will worth the risks that come with choice?

Questions About Choices


  1. What does memory have to do with the freedom to choose?
  2. Why does Jonas get so worked up over the ability to choose between a blue tunic and a red one?
  3. Does Gabriel have more or less freedom than Jonas?
  4. Why does Jonas choose to stop taking his pills? Does it have any effect on him?

Chew on This

Of all the characters in The Giver, Jonas' Father is the least free to make his own choices.