1. "We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others." (p.95)a) What did they gain control of ?
human relationship and behaviour
- control who will raise the children; the adoptive not biological parents
- no. of children
- sexual desire; must pop the pills when 'stirrings' arise
- parents live with Childless Adults once their children own their own families
- those who stopped working must move to the House of the Old until they are released
i.e. control where they live at what life stage and when they will die
- ceremonies, rules and rituals
to ensure standardisation and obedience
E.g. everyone must share their feelings and dreams so it will be easier for the C/E to spy and control them
- they are trained to use precise language as early as three years old (p.54)
- Asher received many painful lashes on his legs for mixing up words e.g. snack/smack (p.55) This punishment was so extreme it stopped Asher from talking for a while.
- stock replies/ standard answers for different occasions, especially apologies.
- climate control
- flat terrain
- elimination of colours
- standardised, functional furniture
- no candles
- installation of speaker in every dwelling to listen to any dissent
Goals: productivity, practicality, orderliness, safety, painlessness
b) What did they have to let go of?
- colours, music, freedom/ choices/ self-determination, differences/ individuality/ uniqueness, sponaneity, sex/ pleasures, love,warmth, human bondings, memories
c) Other than sameness, what other principles can they live by?
love, justice, equality, meritocracy, respect, acceptance of differences, experiment without fear of failure, creativity and innovation, help for the less fortunate or underpriviledged, happiness
1. What are the problems Jonas encountered since he started training?He found himself getting irrationally angry with his groupmates for being satisfied with their lives. He knew it was not their fault. So, he turned the frustration inward, blaming himself for not being able to make them see reality or understand the past. In fact, he tried to give his new awareness to his friends. Once he tried to transmit the sense of red to Asher but he moved away when Jonas touched his shoulders. This is because it is extremely rude to touch someone outside of one's family. He felt weighted or burdened with the new knowledge especially since he was not allowed to talk about his training. (p.99)
2. "Everyone is well-trained for his job.
... without the memories it's all meaningless." (p.105)
a) Do you agree with The Giver? Why?Without memories, one cannot remember the past which is the sum of life's happenings and the decisions made. Losing memories is akin to losing one's personality or even consciousness. You don't know why you're doing what you're doing. And without memories, there can be no wisdom. It would be hard to make decisions for the future.
b) What are the dangers of relying solely on memories to make decisions?
Sole reliance on memories may discourage one from experimenting and trying out new solutions. As a result, one will just do things the same, safe ways, and can never think or live out of the box.
1. Can you recall 3 examples of pain Jonas experienced?Sunburn, a violent sledding accident which broke his leg, excruciating hunger
2. What is The Giver's role in decision-making in the community?The Committee of Elders will approach The Giver for counsel and advice when they faced a new or unfamiliar situation. Long time ago, the people petitioned for the increase of birthrate (i.e. 4 rather than 3 births each Birthmother) so that there would be more Labourers. When the Committee of Elders approached him, The Giver recalled starvation and warfare and advised against the petition. The Committee rarely go to him because they don't want change (p.103)
3. How has Jonas' memories helped Gabriel?
Jonas' pleasant memories of sailing in the lake has helped to calm Gabriel down and enable him to sleep peacefully without crying. This will help him to gain more weight and not be released.
Why did the Giver ask Jonas to forgive him?
The giver just transmitted terrible memories of war(fare) and suffering. Actually, Jonas volunteered to share the burden of such dreadful memories.
1. What are some of the positive memories Jonas has received?- birthday party/ the joy of being an individual/ feeling special, unique and proud
- colourful paintings in museum
- bonds between human and animals
- walking through the woods
- sitting before a campfire
- understanding of solitude and joy
2. "I just didn't realize there was any other way, until I received that memory."
a) What was Jonas referring to when he said 'that memory'?
He means the warmth and happiness of a three-generation family celebrating Christmas together. There was a hearth /hɑrθ/ or fireplace, laughter, huggings, cries of delight etc.
b) What was the 'way' Jonas was familiar with?
Families in the community is bound by duties, responsibilities and rules. In fact, they're often referred as 'family unit' (p.12,13), there is no terms of endearment, no intimacy, no affections, grandparents etc.
c) What do you think is the impact of 'that memory' on Jonas?
It makes him desire a 'more complete' family i.e. one filled with love and warmth.
It prompted him to ask his dad, "Do you love me?" This shows his desire to be loved.
And it made him see that there is a better alternative to the way family is practised in his community. The memory was also instrumental in helping him to make the decision to ditch the pill.
3. a) What was Jonas' first lie?
He pretended to be convinced by his father's explanation of why the word 'love' is imprecise and 'meaningless'.
b) Why do you think he decided to lie?He had such a deep impression/ memory of what love was like he
- refused to believe that love is 'meaningless'
- started to question the status quo / the way things were done in his community.
- He realised his parents could explain love but they could not feel it.
4. Why do you think Jonas throw away the pill?
- He lost his faith/ trust in his parents and the Committee of Elders /
He realised they are not always right,
so he did not want to suppress his natural instinct anymore.
- He realised 'things could be different' (p.128),
there could be love, not just duties and responsibilities.- He wanted to seek an alternative
1. Jonas realised there was a fundamental difference between his feelings and that of his community. What is the difference?- depth of feelings
- he has experienced intense feelings like rage and grief
- others' feelings are shallow, superficial.
2. a) During the unscheduled holiday, what did Jonas do with his friends?
- childhood game of war
since he started training as a Receiver?
- Jonas struggled not to cry as he recalled the memories of pain and death during war.
- His new awareness of reality/ bigger world out there caused a schism/ rift between himself and the 'de-memorised' community. He could no longer look at most things with childlike innocence and blind faith in the system. He also realised what a limited and sheltered life his community is living.
3. What are the disadvantages Jonas has experienced so far for being a Receiver?sacrifices - childhood, friendships and carefree sense of security
burdened with heavy feelings due to his new awareness - sadness, anger, disappointment, loneliness, self-blame, resistance ( 'didn't want the honor, didn't want the pain, didn't want the pain' p.121) He prefers the 'ordinary lives free of anguish' before he was chosen as the Receiver.
1. Describe the outcome of the first Receiver and the consequences for the community (5m)-10 years ago, there was a female receiver called Rosemary.
- She was very intelligent and eager to learn, but after 5 weeks, she requested for release.
- No matter how many happy memories was given to her, she could not take the pain of knowing loss, loneliness, poverty, hunger, terror etc. Her request was granted.
- Though she wasn't brave enough to finish her training, she was courageous enough to inject herself to death.
- However, after she was gone, the memories came back to the people and these terrrible memories overwhelmed the community.
2. Rosemary is a coward. Do you agree?
She gave up training after only 5 weeks. The memories of pain and suffering, the cognitive dissonance ( an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously) between the reality she learnt and the superficial world of the community proved too much for her.
She can choose to run away. But she asked to be released.
She requested to administer the lethal shot herself.She took up the Assignment without knowing what it entails. The role of the Receiver is certainly too demanding/ arduous for a 12 year old. So, I think we can say she failed in her assignment but she is not a coward.
1. What did Jonas see from the Hall of Closed Records?The release of the twins; the lighter one is released by a lethal injection on the forehead and then the body is put into a carton that is disposed of in the chute.
2. Why do you think Rosemary preferred to inject herself?
She might be trying to prove that she wanted release not out of cowardice.
Give as much detail as possible on the Ws & Hs of the Giver's escape plan for Jonas:
The day of the Ceremony of 12 at midnight.
- After seeing the release of the Twins, Jonas was shocked, infuriated and utterly disgusted/ repulsed by his father's lies and the true meaning of release - murder of the old, weak and slow (break the rules 3 times). He was weeping, shuddering and pounding the bed with his fists. He did not want to go home anymore and rejected the superficial/ phony/ deceitful/ hypocritical system too.
- The Giver loves Jonas and wants to help him find a better future.
Once he runs away, he can never return. If he is caught, he would be killed.
5. How...Giver...help Jonas?Save food for Jonas 2 weeks before he escapes
transfer every memory of courage and strength
6. What...Giver...do after J's escape?
He preferred to stay back to help the community cope with the deluge of returning memories/
help them to deal with the confusion and chaos
'helped the community to change and become whole' (p.161) Selfless
Anyway, he is too old and weak to escape; he no longer sees colours.
When his job is done, he wants only to be with his daughter, Rosemary.
7. Has the Giver ever been selfish?
The only selfish thing he did was to keep music or 'hearing-beyond' from Jonas. But later, he offered to give some music to Jonas before he escapes but Jonas rejected his kindness.