The Giver Ideas for Reports and Papers
by Lois Lowry

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Read one or two other "dystopian" novels, such as 3984 and Brave New World. Compare and contrast the characteristics of the societies they depict with those of The Giver. You might consider what, if any, characteristics their protagonists share and the way in which they react to their respective societies.

2. Memory is an important topic in Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik and Autumn Street. Compare and contrast what the books suggest about the value of and pain associated with memory.

3. Take one of the memories which Jonas receives and write a story which incorporates it. You might explore the characteristics of the person who initially experienced this memory and why it was important to him or her.

4. The novel ends somewhat ambiguously. Based on your own careful reading of the novel, write a couple of pages continuing it where Lowry left off. You might also describe what has happened in the community after Jonas left and the effect his memories might have on those who suddenly receive them.

5. Explore Lowry's use of "color" in the novel and whether or not "colors" and "colorless" have any symbolic meaning in the novel.

6. Go to the library and research the meaning of the names used in the novel. In particular, you might consider "Jonas" and "Gabriel" and their biblical counterparts. Is there any significance to the fact that The Giver's daughter is named Rosemary which, in an old rhyme, is interpreted as "remembrance?"

7. In 1988, John Christopher published When the Tripods Came, a "prequel" explaining how the dystopian world of his White Mountains books came to be. Based on close reading of The Giver, write an essay describing how the "community" came to be and how it separated itself from the rest of the world.