Why was The Giver bitter about the Council of Elders?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Jonas 's highly-structured, organized community, which is founded on the concept of Sameness, is controlled by the Council of Elders. The Council of Elders make every significant decision in the community and have complete control over society. Unlike the other citizens and members that make up the Council of Elders,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Jonas's highly-structured, organized community, which is founded on the concept of Sameness, is controlled by the Council of Elders. The Council of Elders make every significant decision in the community and have complete control over society. Unlike the other citizens and members that make up the Council of Elders, the Giver experiences emotions and has supreme knowledge of the past because he holds all of humanity's memories. Despite his knowledge and experience, the Giver has little say in the community's decisions and is rarely consulted by the elders. As Jonas's training continues, the Giver begins to show signs that he disagrees with many of the elders' decisions and eventually agrees to help Jonas flee the community in order to alter their society for the better. The Giver knows the positives attached to everything the citizens are missing and understands that the Council of Elders is unaware of how life was originally intended to be lived before Sameness. Overall, the Giver is by far the most experienced, wisest member of the community and resents the fact that the Council of Elders have the authority to make every decision. He also feels that life before Sameness was more enjoyable and is bitter that he must carry the weight of humanity's difficult and pleasant memories.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In The Giver, the character that Jonas calls Giver feels is shown on a few occasions to show bitterness at the Council of Elders.  When Jonas talks about their knowledge, the Giver almost barks that "they no nothing"! This fact is started to be revealed to the reader although Jonas is confused by it because he does not have sufficient background information.

While the above situation refers to general bitterness, the Giver likely has a personal bitterness because unlike the rest of the community and the Elders themselves, the Giver has full emotion.  He knows fully well that the ways of the Council caused his daughter, Rosemary (the previous receiver) to commit suicide.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team