Why was the book titled The Giver?

The book was entitled The Giver because this person is the one who transmits memories to the Receiver-in-training so that the memories can be passed on to the generations. The Giver, formerly knows as The Receiver, gives the memories to Jonas, who, in the future, will become the receiver.


Jonas and his family lived in the future in a community called “Sameness”, where there is no pain, color, choices nor memories. Everything that happens in that place is organized and controlled, and everything that happened in the past is forgotten. Everyone is assigned a role in the community, and the people assigned don’t have a choice but to follow them.

Jonas’ father is a nutritionist, a person responsible for the emotional and physical needs of every newchild during its earliest life. When Gabe, a baby in the hospital got sick, they adopted him, and let him stay with their family unit for a year. But if Gabe did not get well within a year, they would release the baby. There in Jonas’ home, they took care of him and treated him as part of the family.

When Jonas turns 12, he was chosen to be the new receiver of memory. He is to be trained by the Giver, who alone holds the memories of the world, and the only one who knows about life’s true happiness and pains.

When he receives the memories, he realizes that people changed through time. They made a new wasy of life, and now, they cannot see colors and snow, and they cannot feel anything, even love. They “release” every old person that is useless to the community, and the same is done to newborn babies who are lighter than their twin, if they have one. The community tells the people that the men released are taken Elsewhere, where they are used and needed.

At home, Gabe has become restless at night. When Gabe slept at Jonas’ room, Jonas accidentally transmitted a memory to him, and he became very calm and quiet. From that night forward, when he discovered Gabe’s ability to receive memories, Jonas gives him his thoughts to calm him down.

Somewhere along the way in training with the Receiver, however, he also discovers that the community changed the old way of life. They became stricter, limited and have appointed people who will make the choices for man. He also discovers that when they release, they kill the people. The higher people of the area lie to the inhabitants of the place by telling them that when they release the man, they take him to Elsewhere. The leaders do not tell the people that they eliminate the person.

According to the Giver, if the Receiver in training leaves the community, dies or is lost, all the memories he holds will be left to the community to feel, cherish and be burdened with them. The problem is, when they set the memories free, it can become a disaster. It can create chaos and destruction, and the people can become scared and confused. When that happens, the people will need the Receiver to explain to them the memories and use his wisdom to understand the things that they cannot. Since no one is ready to be trained to be a new receiver but Jonas, they will be forced to carry those memories with them.

Using this to their advantage, Jonas and the Giver create a plan. Their plan is, the night before the ceremonies, he will secretly leave his dwelling, & take his bicycle. He will go to the Annex, where the Giver is. The next morning, The Giver will request for a driver and vehicle, and he will send the driver on an errand. While the driver is away, Jonas will hide in the storage area of the vehicle with the help of the Giver. He will be hidden there along with food that the Giver will save from his meals. The people will only notice the absence of Jonas by midday, and this will cause concern. The Giver will say that he was lost in the river, and they will begin the ceremony of loss. Then the task of bearing the memories come in. That is when they’ll need the Giver to help them.

The giver told him that before, he could hear beyond. He could hear music, and he wanted Jonas to feel that. But Jonas refused, for he wanted the Giver to keep that memory for himself.

Before the plan was done, he learned that Gabe was to be released because he again became restless when he was returned to the nurturing center.

Jonas was forced to leave his dwelling at night. He took his father’s bicycle because he decided to bring Gabe with him. At midnight, he began his tiresome journey to Elsewhere. At first, search planes came at night and day to look for them. When that happens, the duck behind a bush and stay there until it is gone. But slowly, the landscapes began to change subtly. The road was narrower, and it was harder to balance a bike, making him more weary than ever. A hill stood before them, and the air became colder. As they went up, he passed memories of warmth and sunshine to make them feel heat. Slowly, they arrived to the top of the hill and they started down. Before they reached the bottom of the hill, he thought he heard music. But perhaps it was only an echo.

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Mann Erudite – Essays on Literary Works