Study Guide

The Giver Rules and Order Theme

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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 "community" aren't even aware that they've lost their freedom. To them, the rules are a good thing; they make life easy, predictable, and manageable. It is this lack of free will that readers tend to find the most terrifying about rules and order in The Giver.

Questions About Rules and Order


  1. What is so jarring about the new list of rules that Jonas receives after the Ceremony of Twelve? What seems to bother him the most about this list?
  2. If some rules are taken seriously, and some casually broken, what determines how important a law is in Jonas's society?
  3. If the community has general command over its citizens with tools like the pills against the "Stirrings" and population control, why does it need to have control over the little things, like hair ribbons staying tied?

Chew on This

The Giver promotes anarchy.

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