How does the specific point of view in The Giver affect the story?

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The Giver is written with a third-person limited focus on Jonas, which greatly adds to the mysterious and ominous tone of the work.

In the novel, Jonas is selected as the new Receiver in Training for his community. Through the point of view, the reader experiences his confusion about...

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The Giver is written with a third-person limited focus on Jonas, which greatly adds to the mysterious and ominous tone of the work.

In the novel, Jonas is selected as the new Receiver in Training for his community. Through the point of view, the reader experiences his confusion about this assignment and is able to be shocked right along with him as he discovers all the things that are missing from his "perfect" society. He learns that everyone in the past could see in color. He learns about physical pain. And, most surprisingly, he learns about love:

Jonas blurted out what he was feeling. "I was thinking that . . . well, I can see that it wasn't a very practical way to live, with the Old right there in the same place, where maybe they wouldn't be well taken care of, the way they are now, and that we have a better-arranged way of doing things. But anyway, I was thinking, I mean feeling, actually, that it was kind of nice, then. And that I wish we could be that way, and that you could be my grandparent. The family in the memory seemed a little more — " He faltered, not able to find the word he wanted.
"A little more complete," The Giver suggested.
Jonas nodded. "I liked the feeling of love," he confessed. He glanced nervously at the speaker on the wall, reassuring himself that no one was listening. "I wish we still had that," he whispered. "Of course," he added quickly, "I do understand that it wouldn't work very well. And that it's much better to be organized the way we are now. I can see that it was a dangerous way to live."

As he processes each new piece of information, the third-person limited perspective helps the reader understand both Jonas's character and how very imperfect a society is that robs its citizens of basic human experiences and emotions.

Also through this perspective, crucial information is not clear, which builds anticipation as the reader is almost placed in Jonas's position, trying to synthesize a truth out of lots of conflicting information. The reader isn't aware in the beginning of the story, for example, that Jonas's parents don't love him—that they consider the use of the word outdated and imprecise. Just like Jonas, the reader is not aware at the beginning of the story what a Release really involves—and is horrified right along with Jonas when the details of Rosemary's requested assisted suicide are divulged.

Through this point of view, information is withheld to deepen the dystopian themes that Jonas himself realizes as the realities of his world are made clear.

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