What is a word in Lois Lowry's The Giver that starts with q?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am going to give you two answers because I am not sure if you are looking for a vocabulary word that you might not know, or if you are looking for a word of special significance to the book. 

A vocabulary word that starts with q is “quizzically.” This means to ask questioningly because something is puzzling or confusing. 

There was a question bothering Jonas. "Sir," he said, "The Chief Elder told me—she told everyone—and you told me, too, that it would be painful. So I was a little scared. But it didn't hurt at all. I really enjoyed it." He looked quizzically at the old man (Chapter 11). 

The context of this word’s use is that Jonas is asking The Giver about his training. He has only been training for a short time, and he understands the basics about the memories but not what is really happening. Jonas has been told he needs to be brave and will face physical pain, and he is wondering when and how. 

Although “quizzically” is an interesting word, it does have relevance to another important q-word in the book, “question.” No one in Jonas’s community asks questions about the way things are. When Jonas begins his training, he has many questions because sees many things he has never seen before, such as the books in The Giver’s annex. 

In his mind, Jonas had questions. A thousand. A million questions. As many questions as there were books lining the walls. But he did not ask one, not yet (Chapter 10).

Thus, the word “question,” while related to the word “quizzically,” is a word of symbolic meaning to the book.  The moral of the story is that we need to ask questions. If we just accept things as they are, we are allowing life to pass us by and possibly permitting atrocities to happen.

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The Giver

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