Lois Lowry "The Giver": Book Review

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Words: 747 |

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4 min read

Updated: 28 November, 2023

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Words: 747|Page: 1|4 min read

Updated: 28 November, 2023

Lois Lowry “The Giver”: Book Review
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The essay analyzes the novel "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, providing an overview of its plot and themes. In the book's dystopian world, people are stripped of the ability to see color, experience music, and understand the concept of death. The society appears happy and orderly, but it lacks individual choices and emotions. The protagonist, Jonas, is assigned a unique role as the Receiver, tasked with holding memories of the world's past, including its joys and pains. Through this role, he gains access to knowledge of war, colors, music, and emotions, which bewilders him.

The essay delves into the messages conveyed by the novel, emphasizing the importance of following one's dreams and having the freedom to make choices. It highlights how Jonas, once innocent and clueless, becomes determined to share the truth about the community's controlled existence, even at the risk of his life. The essay also underscores the idea that a lack of choice can dehumanize a society, as seen in Jonas's community, where individuality is stifled, and people act like robots.


Lois Lowry paints a dystopian world ostensibly utopian, which is thoroughly explored in this "The Giver" book review. In the novel, the people live in a colorless, monotonous society where music, emotion, and knowledge of death are alien concepts. People believe that they spend their lives in that community forever. Everybody seems happy. They also spend a lot of time sharing their feelings within the family group and trying to make each other feel better. One of the games that the children play is a war-like game. They are pretending to have guns and shoot at each other. They don’t think it is something bad because they don’t know what war is.

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The main character in this book is Jonas. In the book the main character’s age begins at the age of 11 and the book ends when he is 13. The Ceremony of the Twelves is special for him because he finds out that instead of being assigned a job, he is “chosen”. He is to be trained to be the new Receiver. The Receiver is a sort of historian. He is more than just a historian. The Receiver bears the memories of wind, war, sunshine, savoring, music, and color. This is done to be sure that the people do not experience the pain that can come with having strong emotions.

The old Receiver, who tells Jonas to call him "The Giver", transfers the memories to Jonas by a unique method that sounds a bit like how people can read other people’s minds. Jonas then finds out about war, colors, music, snow, sunshine and about pain and joy and all kinds of other intense emotions. He becomes confused and doesn’t understand. In the end he decides that he can no longer live in these communities, with the help of "The Giver" he runs away but by running away he will help his people because the memories will leave him and will return to the people. This is the only way in which the people will realize that there is more to life.

"The Giver" is a novel with many messages that are relevant to the reader and are also relevant to real life. The message in "The Giver" is to follow your dreams and faith and also that having no choice is very destructive. This can be seen throughout the novel because the main character, Jonas is innocent and very clueless at the beginning of the story. This quickly changes as he starts receiving and experiencing different kinds of memories including the pleasant and the unsettling ones. Jonas felt that people in his community having no choice was unfair as they could never experience colour, love and joy. This resulted in Jonas risking his life for the community he lives in as he wants everyone to know the truth. This shows that Jonas never gave up and followed his faith and dreams even though he risked his life for it. This message is relevant to the reader as it is applicable to a wide range of audience as most people would like to reach their dreams/goals in life. Another message of "The Giver" is that having no choice is more destructive to the community than having choice. In Jonas’ community all the choices are made for the people including where the stay and what where which results in the people losing all kinds of humanity they have and act like robots. Some governments and different political systems in real life forces people to perform activities and tasks without taking the perspective of the citizen in count. This can make the people loose human like characteristics and follow everything that the government says which makes them robots.

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What I liked about this book is that some ideas are related to some things that happen in real life. The theme of the book is that somewhere in the past somebody tried to create a life with no pain, no war, basically no insecurities. But along the way that life also become a life without much color, a life with few individual choices. The ending of the book is kind of ambiguous because it is unclear if he lives and reaches a kind of world like in his memories, or if he dies. At the end of the book, the author describes a scene in which Jonas sees an image of Christmas, with singing and color. He also sees a sled and uses it to slide down a hill.

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“The Giver” Essay: Hook Examples

  • A World Without Color: Imagine a world where the concept of color, music, and even death is entirely foreign. “The Giver” introduces us to such a world, where emotions are regulated, choices are limited, and the pursuit of truth becomes a dangerous journey. Join me as we unravel the mysteries of this dystopian society.
  • The Power of Memory: In Lois Lowry’s “The Giver,” memories hold the key to a hidden past and an uncertain future. Follow Jonas, the young Receiver of Memories, as he embarks on a transformative journey to unlock the secrets of his world. As we delve into the significance of memory, we’ll discover its profound impact on identity and freedom.
  • Choices and Consequences: In a society devoid of choices, one boy dares to challenge the status quo. Jonas’ quest for truth and freedom serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of individual agency. Explore the themes of choice and control in “The Giver” and how they resonate in our own lives.
  • The Message Within: “The Giver” offers a thought-provoking message about the human experience and the pursuit of a utopian society. As we delve into Jonas’ world, we’ll unravel the novel’s messages about the value of choice, the consequences of conformity, and the enduring power of memory.
  • Embracing Ambiguity: Lois Lowry leaves us with an enigmatic ending that sparks contemplation. Join me in deciphering the symbolic significance of the closing scene, where Jonas encounters the joys of Christmas and sleds down a hill. Does this mark a new beginning or an uncertain end? Let’s explore the ambiguity of “The Giver.”

Works Cited

  1. Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2000). William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Infobase Publishing.
  2. Golding, W. (1999). Lord of the Flies. Penguin Books.
  3. Korb, R. (2012). Understanding William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Greenwood Press.
  4. Mighall, R. (1994). A Geography of Victorian Gothic Fiction: Mapping History’s Nightmares. Oxford University Press.
  5. Murray, P. (2007). William Golding: The Man and his Books: A Tribute on his 75th Birthday. Faber & Faber.
  6. Riddling, M. (2011). “Beast from Water”: Fear and its Relationship to Suggestibility in Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 3(04), 1-3.
  7. Steinberg, D. L. (1987). “The Lord of the Flies” and the Holocaust. English in Australia, 79, 16-25.
  8. Stewart, J. (2010). The Evolution of Symbolism in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. US-China Education Review, 7(1), 56-60.
  9. Vandersluys, S. (2008). The use of symbolism in Golding’s Lord of the Flies. English Language Arts Journal, 1(1), 23-30.
  10. Zimbardo, P. G. (2018). The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. Random House.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Lois Lowry “The Giver”: Book Review. (2022, January 20). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“Lois Lowry “The Giver”: Book Review.” GradesFixer, 20 Jan. 2022,
Lois Lowry “The Giver”: Book Review. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
Lois Lowry “The Giver”: Book Review [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Jan 20 [cited 2024 Mar 4]. Available from:
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