The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

The Giver book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are a few examples of individuality versus conformity in Lois Lowry's The Giver?

One example of individuality versus conformity in The Giver concerns Jonas's struggle to express his genuine feelings while using precise language, which significantly limits his individuality and suppresses his voice. Jonas also must conform to society's standards by accepting an Assignment determined by the committee. Jonas's decision not to take pills for the Stirrings is another example of individuality versus conformity.

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,217 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Jonas's dystopian community is founded on the principles of Sameness, which eliminate individuality, ensure conformity, and suppress personal freedoms. Citizens in Jonas's community must conform to every aspect of society or risk being released. One element of Jonas's society that is strictly regulated by the authorities is language. Citizens are required to use precise language at all times, which significantly limits individuality and suppresses their voice. At the beginning of the story, Jonas struggles to exercise his individuality and must conform to society's standards by choosing the correct word to express his feelings regarding the upcoming December ceremony. Jonas must censor his thoughts and feelings in order to use an appropriate, acceptable word.

Another example of individuality versus conformity concerns the process involved in receiving an Assignment. Citizens in Jonas's community do not have the ability to choose their future occupations, which are determined by the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 836 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Tina Bishop, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Southern Utah University

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,337 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial