The Giver by Lois Lowry is told from a third-person point of view but focuses on Jonas, an eleven-year-old who lives with his parents and his seven-year-old sister Lily. It is clear from the context that this story takes place in a futuristic society. They have strict rules about having only two children for family and only giving criminals two chances to correct their behavior.

Jonas's father is a Nurturer, which means he cares for the newborn children and his mother works in the Department of Justice. Jonas attends school with Asher, a friend of his. They don't seem to have animals in their society. When people are not behaving or thriving in their society, they are released. Each night Jonas gathers with his family around the dinner table to discuss their day and express their feelings about how things went.

They are open about things which frustrate them, such as the behavior or more often the misbehavior of others. Jonas admits that he is feeling apprehensive about the upcoming Ceremony of Twelve, which will occur soon. At the end of chapter one, Jonas's parents request to speak to him privately. In chapter two Jonas talks privately to his parents who explain the importance of the ceremonies held each December.

At the age one ceremony, the fifty children born each year are each assigned to a family and given a name. Parents must apply to receive children and will only be given one boy and one girl. Jonas's father admitted that he recently broke a rule by looking up the name of a baby who isn't doing well in the Nurturing Center. He found out that if the child isn't released, he is to be named Gabriel, so Jonas's father has been calling him Gabe privately to comfort him.

The Giver Chapters 12 and 13 Summary and Notes

At the age eight ceremony, Lily will lose her comfort object, which is a stuffed elephant, which they believe is an imaginary animal. Then at age nine, she will receive a bicycle although a committee is looking into lowering the age to give children their bicycles. The elders watch the children as they grow. Then at the age eleven ceremony, each child is assigned a job. Their schooling ends, and they begin spending time with others who perform that job to become trained to perform the necessary tasks.

Jonas's father felt sure about what job he would be assigned since he had always loved newborn babies, but Jonas wonders what his job will be.Throughout these chapters, Jonas' character grows in complexity as he gains wisdom from the many memories that The Giver transmits to him.

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Jonas spends this free time by himself, disappointed and worried about his future and about The Giver. Because The Giver must unload some of the pain that he carries, he shares memories of excruciating pain with Jonas. These painful memories, like the pleasurable memories, are lyrical. Lowry's descriptions and imagery are similar to that found in poetry. In Chapter 13, The Giver transmits a painful memory of an elephant hunt to Jonas, during which an elephant is shot and killed for its tusks.

Another elephant walks up to the dead elephant's mutilated body and seemingly comforts the elephant by stroking the dead animal with its trunk and then by covering the elephant with branches. Jonas has never before witnessed or experienced the raw emotional pain that is often felt as a result of the death of a loved one; Jonas has never experienced death. In the next painful memory conveyed in these chapters, Jonas breaks his leg while riding downhill on a sled and learns about physical pain: "He gasped.

It was as if a hatchet lay lodged in his leg, slicing through each nerve with a hot blade. In his agony he perceived the word 'fire' and felt flames licking at the torn bone and flesh. They all live overly protected lives. The Giver now includes pain in Jonas' everyday training, and, finally, Jonas receives the worst memory of all: the memory of warfare and death.

During this memory, he watches a "wild-eyed horse, its bridle torn and dangling, [trot] frantically through the mounds of men, tossing its head, whinnying in panic. He was silent. After receiving these memories, Jonas changes.

He feels frustrated and angry as he realizes that his life will never be "ordinary" again. He experiences an inner conflict: On one hand, he wants to go back to the old, insulated, familiar way of life; on the other hand, he knows that he can't.

He has learned too much and gained too much wisdom, and he now knows that life is meaningless without memories. He can never again settle for Sameness.

The Giver Summary

Also, he is angry and frustrated because he wants to change things for his peers, but he doesn't know how. He realizes that if his friends and family would receive memories and thereby share the burden of the pain, then their lives would be rich and fulfilled.

It frustrates him that they are satisfied with their painless, colorless, routine lives. Jonas also has a conflict with the entire community. The Giver tells him that the people "don't want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable — so painless. It's what they've chosen.

In small ways, Jonas attempts to change people. After receiving the memory about the elephant hunt, he tries to share his newfound knowledge of elephants with Lily and his father. The idea comes to him one evening when Lily is playing with her comfort object, which is a stuffed elephant, while Jonas' father is combing Lily's hair. Jonas touches each of them on the shoulder, trying to give each of them the " being " of a real elephant.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser.

For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Meet Jonas, an eleven-year-old boy who lives in a rigidly controlled society some time in the future. In his "community," there is no suffering, hunger, war, and, as you will soon see, no color, sex, music, or love.

Everything is controlled by "the Elders," right down to who you will marry, who you receive as children, and what you will be "assigned" as a job. Individual identity has gone the way of cassette tapes, and everyone is essentially just like everyone else.

It seems that no one has really left the area, except to visit other neighboring communities. To get "released" is a big deal.

It only happens to sick infants or really old people, or to people who break the rules. Because Jonas is almost twelve, it's almost time for him to get assigned a profession. There's a big ceremony at which the decisions are announced. Jonas watches all his friends get their jobs Recreation Director, Caretaker for the Oldbut then he's skipped over.

The Chief Elder finishes the ceremony and explains that Jonas has been "selected" to be The Receiver of Memory, which is a big deal. Jonas looks over at the current Receiver, an old man who, like Jonas, has light eyes. This is also a big deal; Jonas is one of very few people in the community with light eyes. Speaking of light eyes, Jonas's family has been taking care of a sick baby named Gabriel with this same unusual characteristic.

If the baby doesn't get better within a year or two, he's going to be released from the community. Okay, so now that Jonas has been selected to be Receiver, he gets a list of rules. They tell him that he isn't allowed to discuss his Receiver "training" with anyone, that he's allowed to lie! And then Jonas starts his training, which consists of receiving a series of memories from the old Receiver, who is now referred to as The Giver. These aren't just any old personal memories; rather, the old man is passing on to Jonas all the memories of humanity, going way back.

The memories are from before their community was established, back when there was color and sex and love and music and emotions and hills and snow and sunshine, all of which are notably absent from Jonas's world.

The very first memory he receives is that of sledding down a hill in the snow. While Jonas gets to experience lots of fun things like Christmas and birthday parties, he also has to deal with the bad memories, like sunburn, loss, death, and warfare.

Needless to say, this completely changes the way Jonas looks at his world. He realizes that no one around him has ever felt any real emotions at all. A year into his training, Jonas discovers that the process of "release," which is performed on people who break the rules, babies who are sick, and folks who are very old, is really nothing more than a lethal injection.

This doesn't go over too well. He and The Giver devise a plan: Jonas will fake his own death and run away to Elsewhere, a. Once Jonas leaves, the memories which The Giver has passed to him will be released to the general community, at which point they'll all just have to deal with the pain. Oh, and also they'll be free, because they'll understand what it means to have choices. Sounds like a plan. Except it doesn't work.The Giver describes a Utopian society.

You will write summaries of each chapter. The chapters should be divided up among the students in the class. Each summary should be words long. Jonas is an 11 year old boy.

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He lives in a town where supplies are airlifted to a spot across the river from their community rather than being brought in by truck. There had been an unexpected plane that landed nearby the previous year, and everyone was frightened. It had just been a new pilot who got lost, but he was "released".

While Jonas doesn't tell us exactly what that means, we can guess that it isn't a good thing by the way Jonas talks about it. Being released is a very serious matter, and no one jokes about it.

Jonas' family discusses their feelings every evening. His sister Lily talks about a visitor to the school who hadn't obeyed the rules. She thought they behaved like animals. His father, who works with children, tells them about a baby boy who doesn't seem to be growing and developing like he should.

The baby may be released. Lily would like to keep the child, but her parents remind her it is against the rules for a family to have more than one boy and one girl. Jonas' mother, who works in law enforcement somehow, talks about being worried about a man who has broken the rules twice and would have to be released if he does it a third time. Jonas talks about his fear about what will happen in the big meeting, the Ceremony of Twelve. At the end of this, Jonas' parents send Lily off and stay to speak to Jonas in private.

In chapter two Jonas and his parents had a private conversation about the celebration of twelve on December. He said that he likes those ceremonies on Decembers. Then Jonas came in his mind when his parents brought Lily to the family and when she was named. All the conversation was about how the ceremonies are when they become twelve.

His father mentioned when he was twelve he broke the rule with his sister because he taught her how to ride a bike and she was eleven. In that place they get their bike when they are nine, and his sister was eight. Then Jonas smiled because he broke the rule too with his sister who is seven years old.

After that they were talking what could be his assignment.Lowry narrates The Giver in third person "He said," as opposed to "I said," which is called first personusing a limited omniscient viewpoint only Jonas' thoughts and feelings are revealed. Through Jonas' eyes, his community appears to be a utopia — a perfect place — that is self-contained and isolated from Elsewhere, every other place in the world. No evidence of disease, hunger, poverty, war, or lasting pain exists in the community.

Jonas' family, like all other families in the community, includes a caring mother and father and two children — one male child and one female child. Jonas' mother has an important job with the Department of Justice, and his father has a job as a Nurturer, taking care of newborns. Jonas has one younger sister, Lily.

the giver chapter summaries

His family seems ideal. Each morning, they discuss their dreams that they had the previous night; during the evening meal, they share feelings about the events of the day, comforting and supporting each other according to the rules of the community. As we learn more about Jonas' family, we also learn about the community as a whole. Family units must apply for children, spouses do not get to choose one another but, instead, are matched, and grandparents do not exist.

The Giver Chapters 1 - 3 Summary

All of a sudden, this utopia that Lowry has created doesn't seem quite right. The mood is foreboding, a feeling that something bad will happen.

the giver chapter summaries

This mood suggests that Jonas' community is far from perfect. A long time ago, the people in Jonas' community chose to have the community ruled by a Committee of Elders. The Committee of Elders controls everyone and everything, blasting rules and reprimands from loudspeakers located throughout the community, including in every family dwelling.

A total of fifty infants are born to Birthmothers every year. Each peer group is identified by its age — for example, Threes, Sevens, Nines — and must follow specific rules about appropriate clothing, haircuts, and activities for that particular peer group. When children become Eights, they begin mandatory volunteering and are closely observed by the Committee of Elders so that the committee can assign a lifelong profession to each child at the Ceremony of Twelve, which takes place every year during the December Ceremony.

The Giver begins with Jonas' apprehension about his Ceremony of Twelve, when he will be assigned his lifelong job. He can guess which jobs his friends, Fiona and Asher, will be assigned, but he has no idea what his own job Assignment will be.

The Giver Summary and Analysis of Chapters 1-2

At the Ceremony, Jonas learns that he has been selected to become the next Receiver of Memory, the highest position in the community. The Giver lives alone in private rooms that are lined with shelves full of books.

Jonas' training involves receiving, from The Giver, all of the emotions and memories of experiences that the people in the community chose to give up to attain Sameness and the illusion of social order. The first memory that Jonas receives from The Giver is a sled ride down a snow-covered hill.

Jonas has never before experienced going downhill, cold weather, or snow.

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Eventually, through memories, The Giver teaches Jonas about color, love, war, and pain. Jonas begins to understand the hypocrisy that exists in his community — that is, the illusion that everything in the community is good when in fact it isn't. The people appear to love each other, but they don't really know what love feels like because their lives are a charade; their reactions have been trained. Jonas realizes that people have given up their freedoms to feel and think as individuals, choosing instead to be controlled by others.

One day, Jonas asks The Giver if he can watch a video of a release his father performed on an infant earlier that morning.

He watches and is horrified when he realizes that a release is really forced death by lethal injection.Jonas feels uneasy, but he knows that "frightened" is not the correct word. He has been truly frightened only once before, when a plane flew off course over the community a year ago.

During the incident, an announcement over the speakers ordered everyone inside, and Jonas had been afraid as he saw the silent, waiting community. However, the speakers soon explained that a Pilot-in-Training had made a navigational mistake and that the pilot would be released from the community for his error, which is the worst possible fate for members of the community. Upon recalling this event, Jonas confirms that his current feelings do not represent fear.

He remembers that his teachers have taught him to be careful with his terminology, unlike his friend Asherwho often uses the wrong word, and he decides that rather than feeling frightened, he feels apprehensive about upcoming events this December.

After dinner, Jonas's family holds the customary ritual of the telling of feelings. His younger sister Lily goes first by explaining the anger that she felt today when someone from a visiting group of Sevens, or seven-year-olds, did not obey the rules about waiting in line. She compares the boy to an animal, but she is not exactly sure what an animal is, and she recalls that she made a fist at him. Lily's parents remind her of a past experience when she was a Six and had felt out of place while visiting a different community of Sixes, and Lily decides that she now feels sorry for the Seven, who must have felt like a stranger, rather than angry at him.

Jonas's father speaks of a weak infant at the nursery whom he is going to temporarily bring home in order to provide better care, since if the baby cannot recover he will have to be released. Lily wants to keep the baby, but Mother reminds Lily that each family unit can have only one son and one daughter.

Next, they comfort Mother after she relates a tale about a repeat offender who came before her at the Department of Justice for a second time, knowing that she is upset at the possibility of release should the man break the rules for a third time.

Jonas feels worried enough that he does not particularly wish to share his feelings, but he knows that to hide them is against the rules.

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Consequently, when it is his turn to speak, he explains that he feels apprehensive about the approaching Ceremony of Twelve. In response, his parents send Lily to bed because they wish to speak privately with Jonas. At his father's prompting, Jonas recalls all the changes that result each December, beginning with the Ceremony of Ones when all fifty of the children born during the year turn One and are brought to the community stage by Nurturers such as Jonas's father.

During this ceremony the Naming occurs, and Jonas's mother reminds him of when Lily had been named and given to their family. Father admits that this year he looked at the list of names ahead of time so that he could call his struggling infant number Thirty-six by his real name, Gabrielwhich he shortens to Gabe. Father recalls that when he was Eleven and waiting for the Ceremony of Twelve, he barely remembered anything other than the Ceremony of Nine, during which his sister got a bicycle.

Unlike the vast majority of other rules, the rule that children cannot learn to ride bicycles before they get their official ones is generally ignored and goes unpunished.

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No one has managed to revise the rule, however, since putting anything through a committee takes years, and it is not important enough to bring before The Receiver. Unlike Jonas, his father had more or less known that the Committee of Elders would give him the Assignment of Nurturer, since he spent most of his volunteer hours working with the newchildren. Jonas knows that the Elders observe all the Elevens closely to give them Assignments that are both appropriate and satisfying for each individual.

Jonas worries a little that the Elders will have trouble assigning something for Asher, but his parents reassure him.

the giver chapter summaries

Jonas's parents also remind him that after the Ceremony of Twelve, he will work mostly with his Assignment group in training, so he may make new friends while drifting apart from friends such as Asher, although Jonas resists this latter idea.

His parents reassure him that he will still have fun while Lily interrupts to request her comfort object, which is the stuffed version of an imaginary creature called an elephant. Jonas returns to his homework, feeling reassured but still somewhat nervous about what Assignment the Elders will give him.The Giver by Lois Lowry is a utopian novel about a boy named Jonas who lives in a futuristic society which has tried to relieve its citizens of choices to ensure sameness, fairness, and equality.

Jonas lives with his younger sister Lily and his parents, his father is a Nurturer and his mother works in the Department of Justice. Every December they hold a ceremony where each child moves up a year in school and receives special privileges. Jonas, who is eleven when the book begins, will have his future job assigned to him. Jonas has pale eyes, which are rare in his society, but he notices that Gabriel, a child who his father cares for and sometimes brings home for extra help, has them too.

Each morning the family is supposed to share their dreams with one another. Jonas doesn't often dream, but when he does share a dream that he has about Fiona, a girl in his class, his mother tells him to begin taking a pill every morning that will stop these "stirrings.

The day of the ceremony arrives and the students sit in their birth order for that year; fifty children are born each year through birthmothers, which is a job in their society. Jonas is number nineteen, but when it comes time for his turn, the elders skip him. At the end the Chief Elder comes forward and apologizes to the community for making them feel uncomfortable, and they accept her apology.

She explains that Jonas will not be assigned a typical job; instead, he has been selected as the new Receiver of Memory. Jonas goes home with a list of rules for this new position, of which he was completely unaware. Some of the more shocking rules say that he cannot discuss his training, he can't ask for medicine or be released, and he is allowed to lie.

Jonas shows up at the annex behind the House of the Old and meets the old man who will train him. Jonas is surprised to find a door with a lock and an off button next to the speaker for announcements. The current Receiver explains that his job will be to transmit to Jonas memories of the past. He places his hands on Jonas's back to pass along memories, such as one where Jonas experiences sledding.

Since he is passing these memories onto Jonas, he will be called the Giver. Jonas develops his ability to see beyond when the Giver transmits colors to him.

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Unfortunately, the Giver also has to pass along painful memories, such as injuries, starvation, and war. Jonas has never experienced pain in his life, and he finds it difficult to deal with, especially since he can't talk to anyone about it. He asks the Giver about the girl they tried to train as a Receiver ten years earlier. The Giver says her name was Rosemary, and she was his daughter. She was not able to handle the painful memories, so she requested to be released.

Jonas learns what release means when he watches a video of his father injecting an infant with a syringe to the forehead in order to kill it. Rosemary injected herself with the syringe in order to die. Jonas and the Giver both know that their society needs to change. They have no real choices, so they don't experience true feelings, such as love. They come up with a plan to help the community and to free Jonas.


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