The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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What are most important words, phrases, and ideas in The Giver?

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Three words that are important to know from the book are release, Sameness, and memory.

Jonas’s community is very different from our world in many ways.  First of all, everything in the community is tightly controlled.  One of the ways the community regulates behavior is by enforcing rules thorough release.  Community members who break the rules in the community are released.  If a serious rule is broken, the citizen is released immediately.

Jonas had smiled a little, though he knew what a grim statement it had been. For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure. (Ch. 1)

Otherwise, a person who breaks three rules is released.  Jonas actually risks release himself when he escapes at the end of the story.  He also steals food, takes his father’s bike, and is out of his dwelling at night.  All are serious infractions. 

Release is also his community’s method of quality control and...

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