The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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What is the point of view in the story The Giver?

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The Giver is told in third person limited from Jonas’s point of view.

Point of view refers to the narrative mode, or how the story is told.  It is the perspective of the character.  First person point of view refers to a story told as if the character is talking directly to you, and uses pronouns such as I, my, we and us.  Third person, on the other hand, uses a character who talks indirectly to the reader.  This point of view can be limited or omniscient.  Omniscient point of view shows multiple characters’ point of view.  Limited point of view shows one character’s perspective.  Third person uses he, she, them, and character names.

The Giver uses third person limited point of view.  You can tell this from the first sentence.

It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought…. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. (Ch. 1, p. 1)

You can tell that Jonas is the narrator, and he is the main character.  He does not use I.  Instead, he uses Jonas and he.  Throughout the story, we get Jonas’s perspective on things and we only get his perspective.  This contributes to the suspense because we find out what is really going on at the same time Jonas does.

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) (p. 1). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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