What words or phrases would you choose to describe the character of The Giver?

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brendawm's profile pic

brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The Giver looks ancient, but he isn’t old at all, his aged look is that of someone who has experienced much over many years. He is very wise and world-weary but haunted by memories of suffering and pain; in reality, his life has been amazingly ordinary. The Giver suffers from the feelings and emotions of the entire community, feeling the experiences of the positive and negative emotions, desires, triumphs, and failures of millions of men and women, as well as animals. The Giver is wise, yet weighted down by enormous responsibility, forbidden to share any of it with anyone.  For this reason, he becomes an especially patient, quiet, deliberate person.  He suffers from loneliness and frustration along with increasing physical pain caused by the memories, yet he remains a quiet, calm, restrained figure.   Two word that seems to say it all, in my opinion, are heartrending and poignant.  Brenda

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dymatsuoka's profile pic

dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The Giver is firm and focused.

He has a job to do, and does it, even though it is painful.  In the first paragraph of Chapter 14's second section, it says, "The Giver led Jonah firmly...into the deep and terrible suffering of the past."  In the middle of Chapter 18, in talking about Rosemary, he says, "...it broke my heart...to transfer pain to her.  But it was my job."

He is also kind and compassionate

With Rosemary and Jonah he always tries to soften the harsh memories with happy ones.  In Chapter 14, Jonah says, "Each time, in his kindness, The Giver ended the afternoon with a...memory of pleasure."

The Giver is terribly lonely.

As he explains in Chapter 20, the "worst part of holding the memories is...the loneliness of it."

The Giver is courageous and unselfish.

He wants to escape with Jonah in Chapter 20, but will stay because he knows if he goes, "...the community will be left with no one to help them..." through the troubles ahead.

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