I think in lots of ways Lowry makes us feel very sympathetic towards the Giver. He is presented as a man who is prematurely old because of the weight of the memories that he bears for the community. Note the following quote that describes this burden that the Giver carries sacrificially on behalf of the community:
He rested for a moment, breathing deeply. "I am so weighted with them," he said.
He is gentle in the way that he treats Jonas, and has a kind of mixed role, being almost a father figure in some ways, and a friend in others. What is interesting about him is that he seems to be passively resigned to the way things are in this community, and does not feel that he is able to do anything about it. This is intriguing because he is the person that encourages Jonas to think that he might be able to do something to change things in the community.
The Giver therefore is a fasinating figure that evokes our sympathy and respect. However, there are many mysteries surrounding him such as why he did not try to change the community himself and why it was that he formed such a close attachment to Rosemary, the former Receiver of Memories before Jonas.