What is Elsewhere in The Giver?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Elsewhere is a universal term for anything that is not the community.  It applies to death, but also to areas beyond the community’s borders.   

When a person is Released, the person is said to go to Elsewhere.

Those who were released—even as newchildren—were sent Elsewhere and never returned to the community. (ch 6, p. 43)

To apply for Release is basically to commit suicide.  Some do it, such as The Giver’s daughter Rosemary.  Essentially, Elsewhere means death.  If you believe that Jonas and Gabe made it to Elsewhere at the end of the book, this means they did die.

Another interpretation of Elsewhere that seems to be supported by sequels is that Elsewhere is a real place, and Jonas and Gabe both survived to go to this other place that is outside the jurisdiction of the communities.

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

dilaraergul's profile pic

dilaraergul | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

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"Elsewhere" is another place that someone goes after "release". But they don't know the real meaning of "release", so they think that elsewhere is a place near their community which olders and one of twins prefers to go. However in reality, elsewhere is a place which someone goes after "death".

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