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I didn't understand why the government controlled the children's age. And at the end,...

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tina5 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 12, 2009 at 1:11 PM via web

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I didn't understand why the government controlled the children's age. And at the end, what happened to the Giver - did he die and if so, how?

In Lois Lowry's novel 'The Giver.'

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted December 12, 2009 at 3:58 PM (Answer #1)

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At the same time each year, the Community decreed any child born during the course of that year as being "one year old," whether born January or December!  This collective birthday celebration did away with the sense of individualism to favour one's identification with the group instead. This corresponded with the value system of the Community and was coherent with other rules as well.

In the end the Giver arranged with Jonas to make it look as if he had drowned in the river. Things got complicated, though, since Jonas learned at the last minute that Gabriel would be "released" the very next day and decided to take him along as well. The reader can only suppose that the Giver nevertheless stuck to this version of the story as an explanation which would be satisfactory to the other Community members once Jonas was gone.

Lowry does not hint at all that the Giver was punished or died as a result of Jonas' escape. In her following book 'Gathering Blue,' she shows Jonas as the leader of another community, but there is no reference at all to his first one, nor is there any mention of it in the next book 'The Messanger.' There is certainly enough "unfinished business"  left over from 'The Giver' and the other two novels to write an intriguing sequel involving all three.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 13, 2009 at 2:23 AM (Answer #2)

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The government in the book "The Giver" controlled every aspect of the people in the community's life.  Population growth has led to famine and lack of proper housing in many communities.  It comes with its own set of specific problems.  If a government wants to maintain control of the people it can not have too large of a population or sectors will emerge.  By limiting the amount of people born at a certain time, resources to feed, educate, and raise the children into adults can be explicitly applied to the age group and the particular needs of the age group.  By limiting an amount of children being born the age groups will remain homogeneous, resources balanced, and the   for those "released" are able to be equated allowing for a permanent and same society.  In addition, the age separation and consistency will prevent over population fo adults needing care in old age.

The Giver will not die in the end.  He will be the one that will have to help the people.  It states in the story that he looked older than his real age.  His job as a Receiver had made him age.  Once people begin to have memories they will be able to remember what death is and "release" will most likely be stopped.  This action and the people's need to help cope with the return of memories will make the Giver even more valuable to the population.

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