The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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Write an interpretive essay that analyzes literature from the perspective of a quotation. Interpret the quotation and explain how it applies to literature you have read. Include precise language and literary terms. Chosen quote: "The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared." —Lois Lowry, The Giver

To use this quote from The Giver to analyze literature, it would be helpful to reflect on its relevance to readers. For example, consider how memories can be painful in contemporary society, not just in the dystopian one of Lowry's novel. This could help in constructing an essay about the relevant messages in dystopian literature.

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The theme of sharing memories is important in literature, as the goal of writing is to preserve memory so that it can be shared collectively.

The issue of memory is integral to two major works of dystopic literature that inform The Giver, which are 1984 and Brave New World. Both societies depicted are centrally concerned with erasing memory so that citizens live in a perpetual fragmented present that is cut off from past and future.

In 1984, individual memories have to be constantly readjusted to conform with what has been determined to be the reality of the day by the state. From a literary point of view, you could compare Winston's function as memory eraser with the Giver's function as the sole holder of painful memories. Both characters are lonely because they have knowledge they are forbidden to share with others. In Brave New World , citizens live in an eternal present in which the past has been largely erased. Only controllers like Mustapha Mond have access to life in the past—but the...

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