What is a good summary of The Giver?
eNotes has several helpful pages about Lois Lowry's book, The Giver, including a summary. I am happy to write a short summary here, but feel free to check out our study guide pages for The Giver. The next time you want to find a summary of a book for school, you can try searching with our website-- we have study guides for many books you are likely to read!
The Giver is about twelve year-old Jonas, who lives in a highly controlled dystopian society. There are no "individual" qualities among people, there is no music or color, no joy or pain. People live peaceful, productive, regulated lives, and Jonas grows up expecting to do just the same. Jonas is different from his peers, though, because he can see color. This is a sign that Jonas should become the next Receiver of Memory, which means that he will be different for the rest of his life and deal with much pain in his training. The Giver (of Memory) transmits memories to Jonas, many of them revealing new feelings and experiences to him. Jonas begins to question how people in his community can live without such deep feelings as joy and sorrow as well as how he fits into society with his strange burden. As Jonas grows increasingly isolated from his community, he finds out that his baby brother is due to be "released" because he is difficult to care for. In Jonas' society, euthanasia is an accepted way of controlling the emotional and physical states of people. When Jonas finds out that his baby brother might be killed, he takes his brother and leaves. Jonas feels that it is not worth it for them to stay in a community where regulation and monotony are valued so highly that they would kill his brother. He also hopes that when they leave, his new memories will be transmitted to the other citizens, who will change the way they see the world.
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