In The Giver, name two euphemisms for death in Jonas's society and also in our society. 

3 Answers

accessteacher's profile pic

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

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Are you referring to euphemisms that we have for death in our society or in the society of the novel? If you are referring only to The Giver, there is one central euphemism that is used to describe death - release. Of course, there is release of newborns, release of the elderly and then release of those who have broken the laws of this society, however, as Jonas goes on to discover in the novel, this pleasant sounding word hides behind it the brutality of murder.

If you are referring to our society today, you might want to think how we use euphemisms to talk about death and make it less scary or frightening. We say things like she has "passed on" or "gone to a better place". You may have others you have come across.

gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous post, the euphemism for death in Jonas' society is called being "released." In a community without pain or suffering, even death is viewed as peaceful and civil. The community "releases" the elderly, newborns that are labeled "Inadequate," and those who have committed three transgressions. In addition to the term "released" is another euphemism associated with death, which is called "Elsewhere." Those who are released are said to have been sent to Elsewhere. Elsewhere is an undefined area outside of the community that Jonas and the other citizens have never seen. At the end of Chapter 19, the Giver shows Jonas a video of his father killing an "inadequate" baby. Jonas is shocked and appalled when he learns that being released means death. Jonas feels like he has been lied to and makes the daring decision to save Gabriel's life. 

In our society, there are numerous euphemisms for death. These include: laid to rest, at peace, passed away, didn't make it, gone to a better place, joined the great majority, and so on.

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