The Giver Recap 1: What's in a Name?

CliffsNotes July 24, 2014



With The Giver movie set to release on August 15, 2014, we at CliffsNotes thought we’d revisit Lois Lowry’s novel during the lead-up to the movie.

We’ll be blogging regularly about the novel as we lead up to The Giver movie release, so stay tuned. As Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music would say—sing, actually—“let’s start at the very beginning” of the novel.

Top 5 Things to Know About Chapter 1

What’s in a Name? – Jonas is the main character, his little sister is named Lily, and his best friend is Asher. But what’s the deal with other names? No idea [yet] what Jonas’ parents are named.

Roles Define You – Seems that in the community, people are known only for what they do, not who they are. Street Cleaner, Landscape Worker, Food Deliverer, Pilot-in-Training, Nurturer…doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a fuzzy-feeling type of place to us.

Can You Hear What I Hear? – Loud speakers are throughout the community so that a “voice” can tell everyone what to do. And the community members DEFINITELY do what the voice tells them to. We’re not sure we’d want to live in a place where we had to do what we were told. Who’s running this place, anyway?

Can We Have a Little Privacy Here? – Every night in Jonas’ house, Jonas, his sister, and his parents MUST share their feelings. It’s a ritual, and we assume it’s practiced throughout the community. We’re betting they never eat in front of a TV… Note that Jonas’ father, who is a Nurturer, shares his concern for a newborn baby who isn’t doing well—FORESHADOW!

Rules, Anyone? – Always remember that rules are the most important thing in The Giver and you’ll understand the novel. Follow the rules…or else. Every family unit has a father, a mother, a son, and a daughter. No more, no less.

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