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The Giver (Abridged)


The Giver (Abridged) Cover



Reading Group Guide

1. In The Giver, each family has two parents, a son, and a daughter. The relationships are not biological but are developed through observation and a careful handling of personality. In our own society, the makeup of family is under discussion. How are families defined? Are families the foundations of a society, or are they continually open for new definitions?

2. In Jonass community, every person and his or her experience are precisely the same. The climate is controlled, and competition has been eliminated in favor of a community in which everyone works only for the common good. What advantages might “Sameness” yield for contemporary communities? Is the loss of diversity worthwhile?

3. Underneath the placid calm of Jonass society lies a very orderly and inexorable system of euthanasia, practiced on the very young who do not conform, the elderly, and those whose errors threaten the stability of the community. What are the disadvantages and benefits of a community that accepts such a vision of euthanasia?

4. Why is the relationship between Jonas and The Giver dangerous, and what does this danger suggest about the nature of love?

5. The ending of The Giver may be interpreted in two very different ways. Perhaps Jonas is remembering his Christmas memory-one of the most beautiful that The Giver transmitted to him-as he and Gabriel are freezing to death, falling into a dreamlike coma in the snow. Or perhaps Jonas does hear music and, with his special vision, is able to perceive the warm house where people are waiting to greet him. In her acceptance speech for the Newbery Medal, Lois Lowry mentioned both possibilities but would not choose one as correct. What evidence supports each interpretation?

6. There are groups in the United States today that actively seek to maintain an identity outside the mainstream culture: the Amish, the Mennonites, Native American tribes, and the Hasidic Jewish community. What benefits do these groups expect from defining themselves as “other”? What are the disadvantages? How does the mainstream culture put pressure on such groups?

7. Lois Lowry helps create an alternate world by having the community use words in a special way. Though that world stresses what it calls “precision of language,” in fact it is built upon language that is not precise but deliberately clouds meaning. What is the danger of such misleading language?

8. Examine the ways in which Jonass community uses euphemism to distance itself from the reality of “Release.” How does our own society use euphemism to distance us from such realities as aging and death, bodily functions, and political activities? What are the benefits and disadvantages of such uses of language?

Prepared by Gary D. Schmidt, Department of English, Calvin College

Product Details

Rifkin, Ron
Rifkin, Ron
Lowry, Lois
Lois Lowry, read by Ron Rifkin
Listening Library
New York
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Science fiction
Social Situations - Values
Social Issues - Values
Audiobooks (Unabridged)
Children's audiobooks.
General Juvenile Fiction
Situations / General
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 5
4 sound discs (4 hrs., 48
6.32x5.42x1.03 in. .35 lbs.
Media Run Time:
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Audio Books » Children's
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Science Fiction
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Values and Virtues

The Giver (Abridged) New Compact Disc
0 stars - 0 reviews
$28.00 In Stock
Product details 4 sound discs (4 hrs., 48 pages Listening Library - English 9780807262030 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Now, Jonas is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. "The Giver" received the Newbery Medal in 19 94. Unabridged. 4 CD's. Young Adult.
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