The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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In The Giver by Lois Lowry, how do other communities differ?

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David Wisar eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The community Jonas belongs to in The Giver is unique. It is entirely planned and socialist. Everyone works for the good of the community in jobs a group of elders assigns them. The work is not necessarily all equal, like being a birth-giver (which eventually leads to hard labor after you give birth), but everyone seems content with what they do. In the community, there are no strong emotions, limited sexuality, non-genetic family units, and strange social dynamics. People take pills to help regulate their urges and feelings, and if someone is deemed too weak, they are “released” from the community (this means they’re executed).

Other communities do exist in The Giver— which is why Jonas has to be the receiver of memories. He and the Giver share the responsibility of holding the entire collective memory of all people in their community. However, the memories he eventually holds are of places, people, and feelings that exist outside of their...

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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shmindle | Student

In the community Jonas lives in, everything is controlled by the Elders.  There is no such thing as color, music, love, etc. all to prevent jealousy, hunger, and war upon many other things.  Elsewhere is the land beyone the community.  While there is warmth, color, and music in Elsewhere, there is also poverty, hunger, and violence.  To the community, Elsewhere represents death.  When a person is "released" or dies, they are sent to Elsewhere. *spoiler alert* Even the book gives it an ambiguous meaning, as it is up to personal opinion to decide whether Jonas is dead or not after he slides down the hill to reach Elsewhere.