What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The setting of The Giver is undetermined point in the future in a society that regulates life so that it is predictable and safe. Jonas lives in a small community by the river. Many of the novel's important events take place in the Annex, where Jonas goes to spend time with the Giver. Jonas also spend time in different municipal buildings and private homes. In the end, Jonas escapes to the boundaries outside of the community, a place called Elsewhere.

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The Giver takes place in a technologically advanced, unspecified community. It is a place without colors, without temperature variation, and without pain. Everything in the community is controlled, and people do not have the power to make individual choices for themselves, like what color clothes to wear or what job to do. They do not even have the knowledge that such choices could exist.

The people in the community live in family units made up of a male parent and female parent who are assigned to one another. These parents are given babies by women called birthmothers. Eventually adults go to the House of the Old and live there until they are “released” from the community. People in the community celebrate releasing because they do not really know what they mean. But the reader eventually finds out when people are released they do not go anywhere new, they are simply killed.

Several times in the book, the existence of other communities are mentioned, as is a place called “Elsewhere” that seems to represent places where communities like Jonas’s do not exist. These details imply that the book takes place in a world where there are many regulated communities but also some unregulated space.

Throughout the book, Jonas spends time in many important places in his community, like his school, and the House of the Old with Fiona. But one of the most important places he spends time is the Annex, where the Giver gives him memories that show him other places. Jonas visits many places through the memories, like a snowy hill, where he has both a gleeful ride on a sled and a painful one.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 21, 2020
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The setting of the novel The Giver takes place in an unnamed dystopian/utopian community sometime in the distant future, which is possibly located somewhere in North America. While Lowry does not provide a specific time setting, one can infer that the story is set in the distant future because of the remarkable scientific and technological advances depicted throughout the story. For example, scientists have mastered climate control, altered citizens' genetics, captured memories, and created a uniform population. Jonas's community also seems to be located somewhere in North America, given the weather and natural environment.

Jonas lives in a rather small community, where only fifty newchildren are added to society each year. Jonas's community is also located near a river, which separates the town from other neighboring communities of similar sizes. On the other side of the river and a considerable distance past the surrounding communities lies the wilderness, which is referred to as Elsewhere. Jonas ends up traveling to Elsewhere with Gabriel towards the end of the story.

The most noteworthy location in the community where Jonas spends the majority of his time is in the Annex, which is behind the House of the Old. The Annex is the Giver's dwelling and is unique to the completely uniform community. Several other important scenes take place at various locations throughout the small community. The December Ceremony takes place in the Auditorium, and Jonas shares his dreams and feelings inside his dwelling, which looks like every other family's home.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 21, 2020
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Lois Lowry's celebrated novel The Giver is set in a futuristic dystopian society in a nondescript location where citizens are required to conform to society's standards and must obey government regulations and laws. Jonas's society is depicted as a small, highly organized community, which is founded on the principles of Sameness. Sameness requires uniformity among citizens and completely alters the environment of Jonas’s community.

In the story, scientists have successfully controlled the climate, made colors and music obsolete, and have dramatically transformed the landscape to make transportation more efficient. Jonas's community is also small due to the regulated birth rate, which is determined and controlled by the Committee of Elders. This ruling government body matches spouses, sets the birth rate, creates family units, and chooses occupations for each civilian.

There are several important buildings throughout Jonas's small community, which include the Nurturing Center, the House of the Old, the Rehabilitation Center, the Hall of Open Records, the Auditorium, and the Annex, where Jonas spends his training sessions with the Giver.

As Jonas begins to receive memories from the Giver, he becomes jaded with his oppressive community and desires independence. Jonas learns the importance of individuality and wishes to experience life as originally intended before Sameness. Eventually, Jonas discovers the awful truth about "release" and flees the community with Gabriel.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 12, 2019
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The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is set in a futuristic dystopian / utopian society. Based on the evidence in the text, the place where Jonas lives seems to be a fairly small community. The community is by a river, which comes up often in the plot (at one point, a four year old boy name Caleb drowns in the river). 

The various places within the community include: 

The Nursery, the Nurturing Center, the Childcare Center, the Department of Justice, the school, the fish hatchery, the House of the Old, the Rehabilitation Center, the Hall of Open Records, the Hall of Closed Records, the Auditorium (where public events are held, such as the ceremony of twelves), and various family houses (called units or dwellings).

Also, there is a Annex, where the Giver / Receiver lives. It is special and noteworthy because it is the only place in the entire community that has locks on the doors, indicating the Giver / Receiver's unique status in the community. 

A VERY important setting is also "Elsewhere," which is what the members of this community call anywhere that is beyond the community. At the very end of the novel, Jonas escapes the community and supposedly makes it to the mysterious "Elsewhere."

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The setting of the book is a managed community in a futuristic society.  Jonas lives in a place where everything is regulated so that the unexpected never happens.  In Jonas' society everybody has the perfect family unit, the perfect job, and even perfect weather.  The book opens as Jonas is approaching 12 years old and waiting to find out what his adult career assignment will be.

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