The Giver Themes

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In the novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, the protagonist lives in a futuristic utopian society. Jonas is selected to be the community’s Receiver of Memory, the only person who knows of the memories from the past. Jonas thinks nothing of life before becoming Receiver, like the rest of his community. But, when he receives memories, he finds the deeper meaning to life. Lowry’s characterization of Jonas reveals the importance of valuing life through her development of Release, the game of war, and saving Gabriel.
Release illustrates that the community does not value life. Jonas is at the house of the old, bathing Larissa when conversation strikes. “‘This morning we celebrated the release of Roberto,’ she told him. ‘It was wonderful’” (31). Jonas and Larissa talk about release as it is meaningless. They do not understand anything about release other than it means getting sent “Elsewhere”. When Larissa says that the
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The Giver has just given Jonas the memory of war and he feels the pain and sorrow of it. “Finally he knew that he had could bear it no longer and would welcome death himself, he opened his eyes and was once again on the bed” (120). Jonas realizes that some of the memories are cruel and hard to deal with. He now recognizes death as a more serious matter because of the memories he has received like war. Soon after Jonas receives the memory of war, he takes death and war very seriously. It is an unscheduled holiday in the community. Jonas rides his bike to the playing field, where he finds Asher, Fiona, and a couple other children playing a game. “He had never recognized it before as a game of war”(133). Ever since Jonas became Receiver of Memory, he does not see this game as fun anymore. He finds it as a cruel game, in which it has happened in the past, and thinks children should not be allowed to play it. The community does not value life as it is illustrated in the game of

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