The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

The Giver book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In The Giver, does the society worship a god?

Expert Answers info

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

No reference is made to any form of god or religion that is recognisable to the reader in this book. The dystopian society that Lowry describes live a life that is free from religion, and free from any understanding of the bigger questions that normally accompany religious belief. The soul focus of the community is for everybody to play their role so that the community can continue to exist. This is why everybody is happy to give up their freedoms. The only slight reference there is to religion is in the memory that the Giver gives to Jonas in Chapter 16 of Christmas:

On the floor there were packages wrapped in brightly coloured paper and tied with gleaming ribbons. As Jonas watched, a small child began to pick up the packages and pass them around the room: to other children, to adults who were obviously parents, and to an older, quiet couple, man and woman, who sat smiling together on a couch.

This is the only oblique reference to religion, and even then, the word "Christmas" is not used in the Giver's explanation. This description is emphasised by its picture of warmth and love that Jonas feels to be so lacking in the life of his community. The community therefore do not worship any form of god.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial