What is the author's purpose in writing The Giver?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lois Lowry's dedication prior to the title page says, "For all the children, to whom we entrust the future." This would suggest that Lowry wrote The Giver for children; but not only that, she wrote about a child in whose hands depends the future of his whole community. By doing this, Lowry shows that she believes that children can decipher between truth and error, right and wrong, and take the future into their own hands rather than merely accepting what has been given them from the previous generation. Lowry might be sending many messages to children who read this book with the different themes and topics discussed by Jonas and the Giver, such as, question everything; don't believe everything you are told; children are valuable; and don't give up on things like music, love, and color.

Jonas learns many things from the Giver, which might also be tips and advice about life from the author. Consider the following:

"When you receive the memories. You have the capacity to see beyond. You'll gain wisdom. . . and lots more" (95).

"If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decided things! A blue tunic or a red one?" (97).

"Nothing is foolish here. Trust the memories and how they make you feel" (125).

"'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--'

'A little more complete,' The Giver suggested"(126).

These passages tell readers to trust themselves, be happy with your freedom of choice, and don't take your families for granted. Lois Lowry does a wonderful job bringing up issues that make her readers think more deeply about life and the things we take for granted.

Read the study guide:
The Giver

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