The Giver Discussion Guide:
A Few Discussion Starters.
Use this discussion guide to inspire in-depth thinking, and jump-start a conversation about this powerful and provocative novel by Lois Lowry. There’s plenty here to set your mental wheels in motion.
- If you could transfer one of your memories to Jonas, which one would you give him and why?
- Why is it valuable for individuals to have multi-generational memories rather than the one-generation memories citizens of Jonas’ world are limited to? And why is it important for societies to have multi-century knowledge about their culture?
- Do you think Jonas’ world was made to exist without color strictly to achieve sameness? As Jonas points out in the book, it’s still possible to tell someone’s hair and eye color in “black and white.” And sameness could be achieved by mandating a particular color for all bicycles, homes, or clothing. What other effect would a colorless world have on those who live there?
- There’s no art, literature, or music in Jonas’ world. How do you think this affects the people who live in this society?
- At a time when there’s a lot of talk about misinformation, it’s interesting to note the focus on “precision of language” in Jonas’ world. But, are they really precise in their language? Consider the use of euphemism to intentionally cloud the hard reality of what being “released” actually means. What is the danger of such misleading language?
- It’s possible to interpret The Giver’s ending in two very different ways. Jonas may be remembering a beautiful memory transferred to him by The Giver, as he and Gabriel freeze to death in the snow. Or, Jonas does hear music because his mission was successful, to return the stored memories to the community at large, helping the people change and become whole. In her acceptance speech for the Newberry Medal, Lois Lowry pointed out both possibilities, but wouldn’t choose one as correct. Which ending would you choose, and why?
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The Giver: A World Without Humanities.
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