What are some good thesis statements for a paper on The Giver?

Expert Answers
juergems eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Giver has some pretty broad themes, but the events within the story can help you build those up into a great, specific thesis statement with well-formed points of evidence backing it up. 

Let's create an example. One theme from the book is pain/suffering. The world of The Giver deals with pain by isolating it — Jonas's society is "utopian" because no one has to deal with pain (which we actually learn makes it dystopian).

We here in our unregulated world know pain is not pleasant, but we also know pain is a human experience, and is part of growing.

Throughout the course of the story, as Jonas is given memories and learns more dark truths about the society he lives in, he begins to understand people cannot live completely regulated lives free from pain. He leaves to go Elsewhere, along with Gabriel, so they might have a chance to live unregulated lives. He hopes his leaving will transfer his memories to the people of the community, causing them to gain insight into the shallow and horrible lives they lead. 

So, with all this in mind, a thesis statement relating to the theme of pain/suffering could be: 

Lowry uses memory and Jonas's experiences in The Giver to show pain is part of the human experience and is necessary for people to learn, grow, and live full lives. 

Just take any theme from the book that you'd like to write about, see what the book specifically says about that theme, and voila! You've got a thesis statement.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These are fairly strong topics upon which to write a paper.  I think you might want to streamline some of them to make them about the characters in the text.  For example, let's take the first one.  In The Giver, Utopian visions of the good are difficult to embrace because different characters voice multiple conceptions of perfection.  I have always felt that in writing thesis statements about texts, it is essential to link the development of a thesis to characters in the work.  For instance, in the last one, I would try to link characters to this idea and prove that as it will be a more coherent work.  Instead of the personalized, "you," why not, "characters in Lowry's work are challenged to find true happiness devoid of struggle and pain."  This keeps the writing more streamlined, focused on the text and the characters.  I hope some of this helps.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A good thesis statement for any book begins with the theme.  There are many themes to choose from in The Giver.  You might choose the triumph of individuality, the importance of memory, the celebration of difference, or the tyranny of suppressing choice.  Once you have chosen your theme, write a sentence about it.  Your sentence can simply state the title and author of the work and the theme.  For example:

An important theme in The Giver by Lois Lowry is that memories make us human.

Then you go on to write your essay!