What is the point of view in The Giver By Lois Lowry?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Lois Lowry's employment of third-person limited narrator is effective in narrowing any introspection of a character to only the protagonist, Jonas. This is effective for the purpose of the novel because the society of the narrative has been made to be limited in feeling and thought as they must communicate in euphemistic terms only, and anything else such as color and sexual feelings have been eliminated.

By having only Jonas's inward consciousness available to the reader the contrast between the artificially "safe" world in which Jonas lives and the realities is clearly conveyed. For, after Jonas senses lost memories of pain, color, taste, and physical sensations, he realizes what has truly been lost. As the new Giver, he has attained true humanity and individuality:

As he approached the summit of the hill at last....He was not warmer; if anything, he felt...more cold...But, he began, suddenly, to feel happy.....
Memories of joy flooded through him suddenly....
This was something that he could keep. It was a memory of his own.

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lhc's profile pic

lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The Giver is told in third-person limited, which means the narrator stands outside the story to tell it, and does not participate in the events.  However, with limited point-of-view, the narrator is privy to the thoughts and feelings of a single character, and in this case, it is Jonas.  In this way, we are able to experience more fully Jonas's growing frustration with the emptiness of the community in which he lives.  The third-person omniscient point of view is used when the narrator stands outside the story as he tells it, but knows and shares the thoughts and feelings of all characters with the reader.

nomadpenguin's profile pic

nomadpenguin | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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it is third person limited.  it is told in third person, but you never see other's thoughts.  also, you do not see what happens when Jonas is not in a room

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