What is the tone of each chapter in the Giver and why do the chapters have that tone?

Expert Answers

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Going through each individual chapter and analyzing the tone is a big task. Fortunately, the narrative tone remains quite constant throughout each chapter of the book. Tone refers to the writer's attitude toward a subject or an audience. Word choice generally conveys an author's tone. Lowry herself admitted in her 1994 Newberry acceptance speech that she wanted the tone to be seductive. Her goal was to entice the reader into really liking Jonas's world.

I tried to make Jonas’s world seem familiar, comfortable, and safe, and I tried to seduce the reader.

The narrator is able to establish this tone by using words that make readers feel safe. The opening chapters of the book constantly discuss things like home and family unit. People gather and offer comfort to each other, and people are even given comfort objects. I would also say that the tone is fairly direct and neutral. Jonas might get upset as the story continues and he gains more memories, but the narrator continually gives readers information in a very matter-of-fact way. This forces the reader to be very accepting of things at first, and we slowly realize how dystopian Jonas's world really is.

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