Discuss each of the following words from "The Giver," indicating the change that has taken place in the vocabulary.release, animals, nurturer, stirrings, replacement child, elsewhere

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malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Release" to us is letting go, or setting something free. The society called euthanasia the Release, making it sound like the final step of life, rather than the forced executions of the elderly, the weak infants, and people who break the rules.

People, especially children, who act wild and uncontrolled are referred to as "animals," even though no one has memories of what actual animals are. It has become a negative word, referring to those who cannot keep control over themselves.

The idea of a "nurturer" is especially abhorrent, because a nurturer is supposed to be someone who gives care, someone who raises children and helps to teach them. In the society, a nurturer does those things, but also kills the babies who are not thriving adequately, or kills the weaker of a set of twins.

A stirring is an excitement in feelings to us. To the society, "Stirrings" were the beginning of puberty, of sexual awareness, and was something one took a pill to overcome.

In our lives we can't imagine a "replacement child" if a child dies. In the society, that is exactly what happens - a new child is given, with the same name as the dead child, to erase painful memory.

"Elsewhere" to the society is evil, a place where one is never allowed to go. To us, it's just somewhere that we're not at the time.

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gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Each of these terms has changed meaning in one of the following ways.

Either they have been introduced as a catch-all to cover concepts that didn't previously exist (such as "elsewhere"), they're used as euphemisms to cover more painful realities (such as "release" for "death" or "euthanize"), they create formal categories for general activities ("nurturer") or they are holdovers ("animals").