Chapters 1-5 1. Why might the arrival of a jet be a terrifying experience for the entire community? The community is used to a big belly, slow cargo plane and not a sleek fast jet.
New- never seen jet before- loud & fast- very different/not normal for the community. It flying into the community was against the rules. Speaker in the sky told everyone to get inside- maybe they were under attack? Jonas was home alone when this all happened. 2. What do you think might happen to someone who is released from the community?
Maybe they move to a different community that has different rules and stuff. Maybe they are executed? Banished? Shunned by other people in the town? 3. Name one thing you learned about the community from the discussion during the ritual telling of feelings.
There are different communities with different rules and procedures. Our community has no animals, gets supplies from other places, and no gender roles. People apply and get assigned a spouse. People apply for children; every family unit can have 1 boy and 1 girl. 4. What is different about the way children are born and infants are cared for in the community? Babies are named at the ceremony of 1. They are called a number before then. Fifty babies are born a year between Decembers. Birthmothers give birth to babies and never see them. Nurturers take babies after birth and care for them in the Nurturing Center until they are assigned to a family.
5. Why was it so difficult to get rules changed in the community? People would submit a rule change to the Elders. The Elders would research, discuss, and argue for so long over the possibility of this rule changing that the initial person who asked for the rule to be changed would forget that they even ask. It was a very long process to get a rule changed. It rarely happened. The final decision on a rule change was made by the Giver.
6. Why were Gabe’s eyes of such interest to Jonas? They have similar “pale” eyes which set them apart because only a few people have these eyes in the community. We wonder if they maybe had the same Birthmother? 7. How did Lily react to the new word “hippo”? Why did she react this way?
Lily giggled because it is a funny sounding word. They do not have animals in the community, so she probably has never heard the word before. 8. Why did Jonas risk the humiliation of public chastisement (being disciplined in front
of people) for taking an apple from the recreation area? Jonas wanted to study and observe the apple. It had changed in front of him, and he wants to watch for more changes
9. What effect did the pills have on Jonas and the other people who took them?
The pills would stop the Stirrings (hormones.) Feelings and desires would just fade away. 10. Why do you think all adults were required to take them?
The Elders wanted to control who would love who. That way there are no fights or pain from love. The people are able to avoid the strength of love. They also can ensure population control and a job for Birthmothers. 11. Why do you think Birthmothers, or biological mothers, held such a low status in the community? Birthmothers were not respected because they don’t need a special skill or to be smart to give birth. Sometimes they also lack the skills to “connect” to others.
12. Do you think the lives of the elderly were better or worse than they are in our society today? Give a good reason for your opinion. Worse- The Elderly have to go to the House of Old and do what the community tells them to. They don’t get a choice for their own life. Better- the Elderly have someone to help take care of them and make sure they have everything they need. Elderly people are celebrated as wise people.
13. What two things did the committee consider when giving children their life assignments? The Elders consider where the children spend their volunteer hours. They also consider their level of social skills and what they enjoy doing.
1. What did the family have to do in order for Gabriel to be allowed a second year of Nurturing? Father went to the Elders and pleaded for Gabriel to have one additional year of nurturing so that he doesn’t get labeled as inadequate and released. Jonas’s family had to sign a pledge saying that they would not get attached to Gabriel and that they would release him without protest when it is time for him to go to his new family.
2. What do you think was the difference between release and loss based on the way the community used these words? When you are released, you are sent Elsewhere. When someone is lost, it means that an accident has happened- something which is rare in this community. The community is required to perform certain ceremonies. You can also get a “replacement” if you have a loss. This community is very “planned.” So the community has a ceremony to make these accidental situations more controlled.
3. Nines were given bicycles. What did that signify for them? Nines getting a bike signified them earning independence. Most Nines had practiced riding a bike- being taught by an older brother or sister- so that they could be ready for the Ceremony of Nines. This breaking of the rules was overlooked.
4. Why had Asher been punished for confusing the words “snack” and “smack”? In this community, diction (word choice) is expected to be perfect. The community believes that different words can change meaning and feelings.
5. What set the Ceremony of Twelve apart from all other age ceremonies? The Chief Elder relates stores from each Eleven’s life, and then thanks each one for his or her childhood. After years of trying to conform and embrace ‘sameness’, this is the one opportunity that the community takes to celebrate differences. Also, the ceremony of twelve gave Twelve’s their new jobs which they were expected to embrace. From this point on, some will even start to not keep track of how old they are. Also, the Twelve’s will start to separate and spend more time with others who are interested in their same job field.
6. Why did the community make the distinction between “selection” for Receiver of Memory and “Assignment” for all other occupations? Using the word selection allows for Jonas and others to realize that this job was an honor. He was special. He had special skills.
7. What was unusual about the appearance of the bearded Elder? What was significant about this characteristic? The bearded Elder had pale eyes. This was significant because Jonas has pale eyes and is now being trained by him. 8. Name four qualifications that Jonas had for being the next Receiver of Memory. Intelligence, Integrity, Courage, and Wisdom
9. What did Asher’s hesitation in congratulating Jonas indicate? Asher seemed like he felt separated from Jonas- maybe this was the start of their friendship changing because of their different assignments.
10. Which item in the list of duties and responsibilities frightened Jonas? You may lie. Why did this frighten him? No one ( that he was aware of) was allowed to lie in the community. He wondered who else was allowed to lie if he was allowed. He wondered how life as he knew it could be true if people were allowed to lie.
11. Why was the concept of pain beyond Jonas’s comprehension? Jonas has never experienced pain. There was always pain relief available quickly in the community.
12. What was unique about the Annex? It had special furniture, a lock on the door, a personal intercom system that he could turn off, books, his own TV/video system where the Giver could watch releases and other community events, and a personal attendant to help him at any time.
1. Why was the transmittal of the memory of snow so exhausting to the old man? It was from so long ago. What does this reveal about the community? The community has existed for a very long time.
2. What two lessons did Jonas learn about the sun? That it provided wonderful warmth, but it also could provide a great deal of pain by giving you a sunburn.
3. Why did the Giver appear a little sad at the end of the first day of training? Possibly because the Giver is giving his memories, and maybe in some sense, losing himself by giving away his memories. Maybe training Jonas also brings up memories of when he was trained or difficult experiences he has had during his time as the Giver.
4. What do you think is the most severe pain? Opinion question- Answers will vary Describe the different types of paint hat Jonas felt and his reaction to them. Sunburn- Jonas thought is was painful and was surprised that something so nice could result in pain. Breaking his leg- Jonas thought the pain was very intense and was physically ill from it. Soldier boy and elephants- Jonas experiences great emotional pain by watching other living creatures experience physical pain.
5. How did Jonas’s relationship with his parents and friends change after he received his Life Assignment? He couldn’t talk with them about his job which made him feel distant, and some of his rules made him skeptical of all the people and what he had been taught since he was little.
6. How did The Giver explain the visual phenomena that Jonas witnessed? He called it “seeing beyond.” What did this reveal about the community? The community is able to distinguish varying shades of lightness and darkness, but they are unable to see color. Community members lack the ability to see beyond.
7. Why did the community give up the ability to see color? Color was a way to distinguish differences in the community. The community prefers to have sameness.
8. Why was it important for the community to have a person who could “see beyond”? A person who can see beyond is able to warn the Elders of potential problems that could arise if rules were changed or if certain situations in general changed. Jonas, with his ability to see beyond, is in a position to protect the community from potential problems.
9. Why did Jonas refer to Gabe as his little brother? Jonas feels a sense of brotherhood with Gabriel because Jonas cares for Gabriel in Jonas’s home. Jonas and Gabriel also have pale eyes which make us curious if there could be another connection between the two boys.
10. Why was The Giver bitter about the Council of Elders? The Giver feels like the Elders put him in very difficult positions because their lack of understanding about how intense his job is.
11. What do you think the Giver will transmit to Jonas to give him his first real impression of pain? Opinion question- Answers will vary
12. How was Jonas’s second experience with snow unlike the first? He felt pain from being hurt. The first experience was only joy.
13. According to the Giver, why did Jonas have to receive and store memories of pain and the past? Jonas will be a memory keeper for the community. Someone knowing the memories of pain allow the other community members to not have to experience pain. It also allows Jonas to be able to guide and make decisions for the community so that the community can avoid pain.
1. Why did The Giver apologize to Jonas after sharing the memory of war? The Giver knew how upsetting it was for Jonas, someone who has never really know emotional or physical pain, to have to receive such an intense memory.
2. Why were Jonas and his father worried about Gabriel’s fretfulness at night? If Gabriel does not learn to sleep through the night and do what is expected of children his age, he will be released.
3. How did Jonas try to solve this problem? Jonas tried sending soothing memories to Gabriel by transmitting them through his hands into Gabriel’s back.
4. List one advantage and one disadvantage of the family unit in Jonas’s community as compared to the family as we know it in our society. Justify your answer. Opinion question- Answers will vary.
5. How did Jonas’s range of emotions differ from those of his family and friends? Friends and family really have no feelings. They just follow the rules and are neutral. Jonas begins to have likes, dislikes, opinions, etc.
6. How did Jonas react to the children’s war game? He felt very upset because he remembered the pain that the boy on the field went through. He tried to get them to quit playing it and hint that the idea of “war” really has existed and is awful.
7. Why did Jonas feel powerless and alone when Fiona and Asher rode off on their bicycles? Jonas is not allowed to tell information that is related to his training. He wished that he could explain the situation to Fiona and Asher, but he knew he could only hint.
8. Why did the community refer to the former Receiver-in-training as a failure? She did not follow through in being able to handle the memories and keep them for the community. Rosemary asked that she be released. How did this failure affect the rules that applied to Jonas? Because of her request and outcome, the new Receiver could not ask to be released.
9. What shocked Jonas when he viewed his father “releasing” one of the newborn twins? He felt shocked at what release really meant. He felt that his father and the nurse didn’t understand what they were doing and horrific it was. He was very upset that the released twin was thrown away like a piece of trash. He felt that his father was someone to trust and look up to. Now, he believes that his father is nothing more than a murderer.
10. What did Jonas learn about the community’s rule about lying? Some people are allowed to lie for certain reasons of positions.
11. What feelings do you think Jonas had about his father and the rules under which the community lived after watching the Ceremony of Release of the newborn? Jonas was horrified and thought that everything he had been told was a lie. He felt deceived and just wanted everything to change.
1. Why would Fiona, a trainee in the care of the old, probably accept the practice of releasing the old? She had been raised to think of release as a common and a good thing.
2. Why was The Giver now ready to make a plan for change?
The Giver felt that Jonas was strong and could make changes that would put the community in a position to have to change. The Giver was old and felt that his job was to allow and promote Jonas taking a risk and living the life he wants.
3. Why would Jonas’s departure from the community lead to possible change? When Jonas leaves, the memories will flood back to the community. The community will have to deal with these memories which will change the community forever.
4. Why did The Giver decide to stay behind to help the community? The Giver will help the people in the community cope with the memories that Jonas will be leaving behind.
5. Why did Jonas and The Giver choose the December Ceremony as the time to implement their plan? Everyone would be preoccupied with all the ceremonies. This would help ease the danger in their plan.
6. How did Father’s sweet, sing-song voice affect Jonas on their last evening together? It reminded him of when father released the little twin and made him know that he must take Gabriel and leave now.
7. What would have happened to Jonas and Gabe if the searchers found them? Maybe would have been released? That would be a problem with the memories though. There would have to be some type of consequence.
8. In what way was Jonas handicapped by his early departure? He was not prepared. He wanted to have time to gather supplies and make sure he knew the plan.
9. How was Jonas able to use memories to foil the search planes? Use the cold memory so that he and Gabe would be cold so that the heat seekers in the plane could not detect them.
10. Name two other ways that memories helped Jonas during the journey? The memory of the sun let him be able to transmit the memory of warmth to Gabriel. The memory of the sled helped him to end the story. All the memories in general gave him extra information or certain perspectives on things that he would not have had otherwise.
11. What might have been the source of the music that Jonas thought he heard behind him? Maybe a Christmas song coming from the house?
12. Why do you think the author ended the story as Jonas was traveling toward his destination? The author wanted to give the reader an opportunity to make the ending personal.
13. List two questions that the author left unanswered at the end of the book. Did Gabriel and Jonas survive? Did they make it to the house? Were they ever caught? Etc.
14. Did you approve of the ending? Opinion question- Answers will vary