The Giverby Lois Lowery Themes and Symbols
Table of Contents Introduction Themes Motifs and Symbols
Introduction • Written by Lois Lowery • Published in 1993 • Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal • Genre: Dystopian Fiction • Part One of a loosely connected trilogy, which includes Gathering Blue (Book Two) and Messenger (Book Three)
Dystopian Fiction - Overview • Explore social and political structures • Typically set in the future • Set in a “nightmare world” • Dystopia – opposite of Utopia, or perfect world or society • In The Giver, Lowery initially presents the society depicted in the book as a utopia but gradually reveals its dystopian characteristics. • Well-known examples of Dystopian Fiction: • - Brave New World by Aldous Huxley • - 1984 by George Orwell • - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Themes • Memory • Individuality • Pain and Pleasure
Memory • The Giver holds all memories • Memory eliminated in an attempt by society to eliminate all pain from their lives • Allowed members of society to forget all the painful events that have transpired throughout human history. • Elimination of memory keeps people from engaging in activities or relationships that may cause pain or suffering • What potential problems do you think might arise if all humans lost their memories? (Essentially, what would happen if history was erased?)
Individuality • Community limits people’s abilities to make decisions • Jobs chosen for each person in ceremony of twelve • People forced to tell their dreams, take a pill to suppress “stirrings” • Only way to leave community is to be “released” • People genetically engineered, can’t see colors, Jonas is differentiated by his blue eyes • What freedoms do you have as individuals that Jonas does not? How would you react if those freedoms were taken from you?