Discussion Topic

The significance and impact of the setting in The Giver

Summary:

The setting in The Giver is significant because it creates a controlled, dystopian society where emotions and choices are suppressed to maintain order. This impacts the protagonist, Jonas, as he discovers the dark realities behind this seemingly perfect world, ultimately leading him to seek change and freedom.

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How does the setting impact Jonas in The Giver?

The setting of Jonas's community drives the conflict of the novel. It has been created and modified over time to eliminate much of what constitutes the human experience. The residents don't know pain (physical or emotional), they enjoy careers perfectly matched to their abilities, and they are organized into perfectly structured families.

But to accomplish such a perfect setting, the citizens have had to sacrifice much. They don't know pain, but they also don't know love. They enjoy perfectly matched careers, but within those careers they have to engage in activities which remove those who are not best suited for the setting (such as the elderly). And they may enjoy perfect families, but the families are without love and without history; Jonas isn't aware of the concept of "parents of the parents," or grandparents. For this society, there is only the present. And, sadly, the citizens do not have any idea what they are missing or what could be.

As Jonas learns more about what citizens are deprived of to create this very imperfect society, he wants to change it. He believes that people can learn to deal with the painful parts of life if they also learn about love and true compassion. He also learns that Gabriel is deemed unfit for their society and will soon be killed, and this drives his decision, in the end of the novel, to save him.

Jonas seeks to change his community's setting once he realizes how it is impacting them all.

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How does the setting change throughout The Giver?

Lois Lowry’s The Giver describes the world of “the community” in which the main character Jonas lives. At first, this world seems to be a utopian society--there is no pain, fear, or prejudice. The society is characterized by strict adherence to rules enforced by the Elders. This community values “Sameness.” Members of the community live predictable lives with most decisions made for them by the Elders, including assignments of jobs and mates.

The setting shifts when Jonas is assigned the job of “Receiver of Memory.” He begins his training with the Giver, whose dwelling is somewhat different from the identical homes of everyone else in the community. Jonas is especially shocked to see books lining the walls. Aside from the couple of reference books that every household had, Jonas “had never known that other books existed” and “couldn’t imagine what the thousands of pages contained.” The setting shifts somewhat as Jonas receives memories of the past from the Giver, experiencing like flashbacks the worlds of the past, such as a snowy hill, a battlefield, and an African desert.

The setting shifts again toward the end of the novel when Jonas and the Giver create a plan to share knowledge of the past with the entire community. Jonas must leave to “Elsewhere,” so the memories he holds can be released into the community. As he gets farther from the community, Jonas crosses varied terrain, ending up on a snowy hill, near death. This final scene has an ambiguous ending, leaving the reader to interpret where Jonas ends his journey. 

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The Giver takes place in a technologically advanced, unspecified community. It is a place without colors, without temperature variation, and without pain. Everything in the community is controlled, and people do not have the power to make individual choices for themselves, like what color clothes to wear or what job to do. They do not even have the knowledge that such choices could exist.

The people in the community live in family units made up of a male parent and female parent who are assigned to one another. These parents are given babies by women called birthmothers. Eventually adults go to the House of the Old and live there until they are “released” from the community. People in the community celebrate releasing because they do not really know what they mean. But the reader eventually finds out when people are released they do not go anywhere new, they are simply killed.

Several times in the book, the existence of other communities are mentioned, as is a place called “Elsewhere” that seems to represent places where communities like Jonas’s do not exist. These details imply that the book takes place in a world where there are many regulated communities but also some unregulated space.

Throughout the book, Jonas spends time in many important places in his community, like his school, and the House of the Old with Fiona. But one of the most important places he spends time is the Annex, where the Giver gives him memories that show him other places. Jonas visits many places through the memories, like a snowy hill, where he has both a gleeful ride on a sled and a painful one.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The setting of the novel The Giver takes place in an unnamed dystopian/utopian community sometime in the distant future, which is possibly located somewhere in North America. While Lowry does not provide a specific time setting, one can infer that the story is set in the distant future because of the remarkable scientific and technological advances depicted throughout the story. For example, scientists have mastered climate control, altered citizens' genetics, captured memories, and created a uniform population. Jonas's community also seems to be located somewhere in North America, given the weather and natural environment.

Jonas lives in a rather small community, where only fifty newchildren are added to society each year. Jonas's community is also located near a river, which separates the town from other neighboring communities of similar sizes. On the other side of the river and a considerable distance past the surrounding communities lies the wilderness, which is referred to as Elsewhere. Jonas ends up traveling to Elsewhere with Gabriel towards the end of the story.

The most noteworthy location in the community where Jonas spends the majority of his time is in the Annex, which is behind the House of the Old. The Annex is the Giver's dwelling and is unique to the completely uniform community. Several other important scenes take place at various locations throughout the small community. The December Ceremony takes place in the Auditorium, and Jonas shares his dreams and feelings inside his dwelling, which looks like every other family's home.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

Lois Lowry's celebrated novel The Giver is set in a futuristic dystopian society in a nondescript location where citizens are required to conform to society's standards and must obey government regulations and laws. Jonas's society is depicted as a small, highly organized community, which is founded on the principles of Sameness. Sameness requires uniformity among citizens and completely alters the environment of Jonas’s community.

In the story, scientists have successfully controlled the climate, made colors and music obsolete, and have dramatically transformed the landscape to make transportation more efficient. Jonas's community is also small due to the regulated birth rate, which is determined and controlled by the Committee of Elders. This ruling government body matches spouses, sets the birth rate, creates family units, and chooses occupations for each civilian.

There are several important buildings throughout Jonas's small community, which include the Nurturing Center, the House of the Old, the Rehabilitation Center, the Hall of Open Records, the Auditorium, and the Annex, where Jonas spends his training sessions with the Giver.

As Jonas begins to receive memories from the Giver, he becomes jaded with his oppressive community and desires independence. Jonas learns the importance of individuality and wishes to experience life as originally intended before Sameness. Eventually, Jonas discovers the awful truth about "release" and flees the community with Gabriel.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is set in a futuristic dystopian / utopian society. Based on the evidence in the text, the place where Jonas lives seems to be a fairly small community. The community is by a river, which comes up often in the plot (at one point, a four year old boy name Caleb drowns in the river). 

The various places within the community include: 

The Nursery, the Nurturing Center, the Childcare Center, the Department of Justice, the school, the fish hatchery, the House of the Old, the Rehabilitation Center, the Hall of Open Records, the Hall of Closed Records, the Auditorium (where public events are held, such as the ceremony of twelves), and various family houses (called units or dwellings).

Also, there is a Annex, where the Giver / Receiver lives. It is special and noteworthy because it is the only place in the entire community that has locks on the doors, indicating the Giver / Receiver's unique status in the community. 

A VERY important setting is also "Elsewhere," which is what the members of this community call anywhere that is beyond the community. At the very end of the novel, Jonas escapes the community and supposedly makes it to the mysterious "Elsewhere."

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The setting of the book is a managed community in a futuristic society.  Jonas lives in a place where everything is regulated so that the unexpected never happens.  In Jonas' society everybody has the perfect family unit, the perfect job, and even perfect weather.  The book opens as Jonas is approaching 12 years old and waiting to find out what his adult career assignment will be.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The setting of chapter 4 is the House of the Old. 

The Giver is a dystopia that takes place in a supposedly perfect world called The Community.  Everything is tightly controlled, and Sameness is enforced.

This chapter begins with Jonas riding his bicycle along the streets of the community.  Since there are no cars, bicycles are how people get around.  Jonas has been working on completing his volunteer hours before his assigned of a permanent job when he turns twelve.  He has not focused his efforts in one place.  He has taken the a little bit here, a little bit there approach.  Jonas sees Asher at the House of the Old, and decides to join his friend.

The House of the Old is where elderly people are sent before they are released due to old age.  It is a comfortable house, and the old are treated almost like children.

The Old were sitting quietly, some visiting and talking with one another, others doing handwork and simple crafts. A few were asleep. (ch 4, p. 28)

Jonas learns that there was a release that morning, but he does not know yet what that means.  In the House of the Old, it is described as something that is celebrated.  In fact, the Community euthanizes people when they get to a certain age and are no longer worthwhile to keep around.

Lowry, Lois (1993-04-26). The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) (ch 4, p. 28). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The community is very different from our own in many ways.  We do not know the exact location or time period, although since it is dystopian/fantasy fiction we usually think of it as being set some time in the future.  When the book opens, it is some time in the fall as Jonas is looking ahead to December and the Ceremony of Twelve.  The story takes place in a little over a year.  The following December, Jonas and Gabriel escape the community on the day of the Ceremony of Twelve. 

The actual community is not described in much detail.  It is composed of a tight collection of houses and communal buildings, surrounded by agricultural fields and then open land.  We do know there is a river near the community, and that there are other neighboring communities not too far away.  The community is flat.

At some distance from the community is a place called Elsewhere, where the word is similar to ours.  Elsewhere might be an afterlife, like Heaven, or a real place.  In between the community and elsewhere there are hills, other rivers, trees and woods.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

There is no specific location or date given for the action in the story of The Giver. This is not coincidence; the themes and lessons of the story are meant to be potentially applicable in any location and period in time.

The story obviously takes place at some time in the future. The advances in use of medications to control physical conditions and mental processes indicate that medical science has advanced from where it exists in today's reality. The common use of euthanasia and the political structure of the community also reflect a society that has evolved significantly from today's social and cultural attitudes.

Location is harder to detect. With the adoption of Sameness, weather changes due to seasonal variations have apparently been eliminated. The community's members do not have experience in dealing with snow or cold weather but no mention is made of extremely hot weather, either. It may be that the community is located within some sort of facility that artificially controls climate.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The setting of The Giver is a dystopia in the future.

A dystopia is a place that is supposed to be perfect, but is actually repressive or abusive.  The name comes from the word “utopia,” which means a perfect world.  Jonas’s world may seem perfect at first, but it harbors dark secrets.

Setting is time and place, but it also involves customs and values.  The setting is so important in this book that it is practically its own character.  The events that happen here could never happen anywhere else.

We know that the story takes place in the future because they have technology we simply do not have.  They have somehow eliminated color and completely controlled the weather and the landscape.  It is our world though, because they use the same months and have some of the same basic structures.  We have families, they have family units.  Theirs are just artificial.

Jonas’s community is very restrictive.  Every single choice is made for the citizens, down to the smallest detail.  There is no color, for example, because the community prefers everything to be the same.  This is a concept known as Sameness.  Sameness extends to ensuring that everyone in the community follows strict rules of behavior, and has choices made for them.

When Jonas begins his training as Receiver of Memory, The Giver explains to him that the community gave up a lot in the name of Sameness.

"Climate Control. Snow made growing food difficult, limited the agricultural periods. And unpredictable weather made transportation almost impossible at times. It wasn't a practical thing, so it became obsolete when we went to Sameness. (Ch. 11)

The Giver also tells Jonas that the community got rid of hills, different skin tones, and a bunch of other things in the name of Sameness.

The community has strict requirements for behavior of all kinds.  No one does anything that is against the rules.  Rule-breaking has serious consequences.  The community has something called release, which means lethal injection.  It is used on more than just rule-breakers.

There were only two occasions of release which were not punishment. Release of the elderly, which was a time of celebration for a life well and fully lived; and release of a newchild, which always brought a sense of what-could-we- have-done. (Ch. 1)

Release is terrible, but it is not the only abuse of human rights used by the community.  All citizens have to take Stirrings pills from the onset of puberty.  These pills are designed to prevent attraction between the sexes, but they prevent any kind of adult feelings.

As a result, no one in the community actually has emotions.  The people are controlled through strict rules of language, rituals, and the Stirrings pills.  This is why they do not complain or revolt.  They do not realize what they are missing out on in life.  Everyone is perfectly obedient.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

This is sort of a broad question...

The book is not set in any particular place or time.  The society is somewhat futuristic, but we don't know exactly how far in the future it is.

The book is set in a society where people have been robbed of all their choices and their emotions, more or less.  They essentially have no families and they have no sexual urges.  They are assigned jobs and children.  Their whole lives are pretty much controlled by the government.  This has gone so far that the people are not even able to see in color.

So the setting is not in a certain time or place -- it's more of a general atmosphere or mood.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The Lois Lowry novel The Giver is set in a futuristic, Utopian society. The things that make society less than perfect have been eliminated. Everyone looks similar and is manipulated to act similar. The matter of choice has been taken away so the competitiveness that sometimes leads to ugliness is a moot point. The nature vs. nurture debate has also been eliminated as children are taken from “birth mothers” and raised in a nurturing center for the first year of their lives. When people become too old to contribute to the society, they are released (to death). All of these elements are meant to ensure the continuance of this “Utopian” setting.

Enotes has some great material.

http://www.enotes.com/giver

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

The age ceremonies take place in December of every year in a community meeting hall. 

Everyone in the community attends the yearly ceremonies.  They are a very big deal to the community.   There are a few very important things that happen during these ceremonies.  All of the children that are Elevens become Twelves, get their assignments, and are considered practically adults.  Newchildren (babies) are assigned to family units.  

There is a ceremony for every age between One and Twelve.  After Twelve, age does not matter.  All children born in a year are considered the same age and turn the same age on this day, regardless of when they were actually born.  There are fifty children born each year. 

Jonas is nervous about his ceremony because he does not know what to expect.  He talks to his parents about it and imagines what it will be like.  He has witnessed many Ceremonies of Twelve, and has taken part in all of the other age ceremonies.

Jonas shivered. He pictured his father, who must have been a shy and quiet boy, for he was a shy and quiet man, seated with his group, waiting to be called to the stage. The Ceremony of Twelve was the last of the Ceremonies. The most important. (Ch. 2) 

At the community’s ceremonies, each age group has some kind of special presentation.  Some of these just involve things like new clothes or haircuts.  The Nines get bicycles, which is a big deal because it makes them more independent.  If any child died in an accident, a Ceremony of Loss takes place and the family may get a new child. 

The hall must be pretty big, because the entire community can fit in it.  We know that it has a stage as well.

The entire community attended the Ceremony each year. For the parents, it meant two days holiday from work; they sat together in the huge hall. Children sat with their groups until they went, one by one, to the stage. (Ch. 6) 

The Ceremony of Twelve involves a special presentation where the Chief Elder describes the group.  Then each child is called up and a little life story is told.  The child is assigned a job.  Children are assigned jobs in order.  When it is Jonas’s turn, he is skipped.  He thinks he has done something wrong, but it turns out he has a very unique and special assignment, the Receiver of Memory.

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

Setting in any story is its time and place. There are few clues to the time in which The Giver takes place, and not really all that many details that allow us to visualize a setting. Somehow, though, this does not seem to detract at all from the story, since our own imaginations can fill in what is not described. 

I would guess that this story takes place in a contemporary time or the future.  There are elements that suggest that it is a relatively modern time, for example, the sophistication of the drugs, the fact that there is physical rehabilitation for those who have been injured, a fairly modern concept, what appears to be artificial insemination of some sort, and the fact that at least one person was selected to be an engineer.  What suggests it might be the future is how the Elders rule the society, as though in reaction to some cataclysmic event, for example, a plague or a war, some event that sent them running to set up rules to protect themselves from something dreadful out there in Elsewhere, almost a post-Apocalyptic kind of situation. Most dystopian novels are set in the future, and this is unquestionably a dystopian novel.

We know that this place is bounded on at least one side by a river, since it is across the river from the community that pilots land their planes with whatever supplies are needed.  We also know that the terrain is flat because Jonas has no experience of a hill until he receives a dream about sledding from the Giver.  There is some sort of climate control.  Jonas' experiences of sun, wind, and snow are experiences he has not had except for through the memories of The Giver. There are no animals, either, as we learn when Jonas explains to Lily that her comfort object, an elephant, used to actually exist, which he learned only from the Giver's memories.  So, this is a flat, featureless, sterile place, with no animals and whatever might be considered perfect weather all the time. The setting itself seems to reflect the Sameness of the people. 

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What is the setting of the book The Giver?

This question has been asked and answered.

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In The Giver, how does the setting influence the main character's attitude and actions?

The setting that Jonas lives in seems to be sometime in the near future. There doesn't seem to be any technology that is far beyond modern day capabilities. Planes exist, drugs that control behavior exist, euthanasia exists, etc. The Sameness is about the only future technology that is beyond current technology.

As a child of his society, the technology and societal expectations all seem normal for Jonas. He exists in a world that pressures him to behave in a certain way and medicates him when necessary to achieve full adherence to the society's expectations. Jonas apologizes when necessary, he goes to do his mandatory volunteer hours, and he accepts the position given to him as Receiver of Memory without throwing a fit. Had Jonas not been given this position, he likely never would have rebelled the way that he does at the story's conclusion. It's not until Jonas learns about life before the Sameness that he questions the ethics of using such a technology.

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In The Giver, how does the setting influence the main character's attitude and actions?

By main character, you must be referring to Jonas, and one could argue that he acts both obediently and rebelliously as a result of the setting.

He acts obediently, as all members of the society do, throughout most of the book. He follows the rules and routine of the community and does not, at least outwardly, question them. In this way, he is responding directly to the setting in which he lives. He lives in an orderly community that dictates everything he does. He does as he is told and nothing more. He knows no other setting.

As he begins to learn about the way society used to be, however, he does begin to question why the community has chosen to be the way it is now. In moving to Sameness, he recognizes that individuals gave up their freedom and ability to choose for themselves. This causes him to want to have more freedom and to want to have choices. This is when he begins to rebel against this dystopian setting he has been living in all of his life and ultimately escape it.

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How does the setting (time and place), impact the plot in The Giver?

The setting of this book has significant impact on the plot because it is the setting that helps to control the community.

The community is very isolated from the rest of the world, which they call "Elsewhere." Although there are neighboring communities, they all also prescribe to Sameness and are run by the same Council of Elders. So, the communities are very limited in their geographical scope, but also in their interaction with the rest of the world which has different beliefs than they do.

This community is very orderly, which at first doesn't seem too bad. As we learn more, though, it seems a bit too orderly and then it is obviously very controlled. This controlled setting literally constructs all of the characters in the story. They react to the rules they are given, and as a result none of them progress beyond one another. They all act according to the rules of their society and are products churned out by the community's rules. They have all agreed to Sameness, and we seen the people and the setting all conforming to this idea of uniformity. 

We do not know when this story takes place - if this is in the past or in the distant future. We know they have the ability to genetically engineer their people, the weather, and their crops, so we can assume if this is in the past, it is not too long ago. The timeframe seems almost unimportant, as the message is timeless - question your surrounding and those who are in control of you and those surroundings!

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How does the setting of The Giver affect the conflict?

The conflict of the story is when Jonas learns that his community is killing babies.

The internal and external conflict are dependent on the dystopian setting.

Jonas’s community is supposedly perfect.  They have put a lot of effort into ensuring that.  In order to maintain this perfection, the community employs what is known as Sameness. Sameness means that everything about the community is tightly controlled.

Anything that might upset someone or make things difficult to do is prevented.  This includes population control, and even control of the environment.

"Climate Control. Snow made growing food difficult, limited the agricultural periods. And unpredictable weather made transportation almost impossible at times. It wasn't a practical thing, so it became obsolete when we went to Sameness.

"And hills, too," he added. "They made conveyance of goods unwieldy. Trucks; buses. Slowed them down. So--" (Ch. 11)

The idea is to make sure no one is ever uncomfortable.  This is why the community has rules of language that are so strict.  There are rules for everything in the community.  Breaking a rule three times, or breaking one serious rule, results in release.

Jonas does not know what release really means until the incident with the newborn twin.  Twins are not allowed in the community because they might make someone uncomfortable.  Identical twins are not allowed.

The Giver's face took on a solemn look. "I wish they wouldn't do that," he said quietly, almost to himself.

"Well, they can't have two identical people around! Think how confusing it would be!" Jonas chuckled. (Ch. 19)

It is at this point that the story reaches its climax, or turning point.  Jonas has been slowly learning just how wrong the community is to do away with concepts like love and family.  Now he understands that a travesty occurs regularly in the community.  Innocent babies are killed to keep people from feeling uncomfortable.

Jonas’s internal conflict is the struggle that he faces to reconcile the understanding of what his community does with the perfect world he thought he lived in.  The external conflict is Jonas versus his community, when he decides he has to do something about the horrors of his community.

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How does the setting in Lois Lowry's The Giver cause conflict?

When one thinks about the setting in a novel, one might think about the geography that surrounds the characters. In Lowry's The Giver, the geographical area is flat without obstacles, sunny without snow, and always comfortable. The setting that causes conflict and influences the main character's thoughts, feelings and actions is more of an abstract one. The setting for Jonas is his age and standing in a dystopian society in this coming-of-age story.

The society in which Jonas lives is one where every aspect of a child's life is controlled by their designated parents and by the elders of the community. Children are placed into training for furture careers by the age of twelve, so this causes conflict through anxiety for Jonas. In addition to that, Jonas discovers that other aspects of his growth and maturity are controlled as well by drugs! But the real disconcerting element of the setting is discovered when Jonas is chosen to bear all of the burdens of the community upon his own shoulders as the Receiver. The notions of fairness and equality are called into question by the Giver and Jonas to the point of deciding to upset the current setting (or way of life) for the community.

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Why is the setting important in The Giver?

The setting in The Giver is an important aspect of its dystopian themes of isolation and conformity.  We are not told a great deal about the physical features of the community, but those we are told about are carefully selected to enhance these themes. The community experiences what seems to be absolute climate control and isolation from Elsewhere.  The people in the community do not see the sun or feel the wind.  The landscape must be completely flat, since Jonas' first experience of a hill is when he gets the memory of sledding from the Giver. There are no mountains or valleys to provide any geographic variety or interest.  Thus the weather reflects the Sameness of the community, as does the featureless landscape, and the people of the community are isolated from Elsewhere. 

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Why and how is the setting important to The Giver by Lois Lowry?

The setting of The Giver takes place in a future dystopian/utopian society, which is highly structured and extremely regulated. Every decision is made by the Committee of Elders, and there is virtually no independence in the community. The Committee of Elders decides how many children are born each year, the makeup of each family, and determines each citizen's occupation. The concept of Sameness eliminated spontaneity, excitement, and differentiation from the community in order to establish a completely comfortable, safe society. The citizens in Jonas's community lack the myriad of emotions individuals typically experience throughout life because of their highly regulated, controlled society. There are also no colors in the community, which symbolically represents the citizens' lack of feelings, independence, inspiration, and creativity.

This highly structured, predictable society is significant to the plot of the story and is the catalyst for Jonas to alter the trajectory of his life while simultaneously changing the community for the better. After experiencing the rich memories during his training and discovering the truth behind being released, Jonas makes the significant decision to flee his community. Essentially, the highly regulated, controlled setting of the story creates a conflict that the story's protagonist must overcome. In order to live an independent, fulfilling life, Jonas must leave his community and travel to Elsewhere.

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Why and how is the setting important to The Giver by Lois Lowry?

The setting of The Giver by Lois Lowry is important to the story for several reasons. First of all, this is a futuristic world. Everything is regulated from job assignments to what is said to requiring everyone to discuss their feelings each day during meals. This sets up the essential question of the story - Is it better to have freedom or guaranteed safety? The setting also allows the author to lay the groundwork for the conflict when Jonas begins to want that freedom more than the predictability offered by the Community.

One aspect of this setting that is not obvious initially is that nobody but Jonas and the Giver can see colors. This deepens the reader's understanding that this is a milktoast kind of society. There is no passion, no excitement, good or bad, of any kind in an attempt to promote a predictable, calm society where everyone is safe. This regulated lifestyle clearly eliminates choice on the part of the citizens. The setting creates a fertile ground for conflict should anyone wish to have choice.

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