The Giver - Discussion Questions

Chapter 1

 1. What is your impression thus far of Jonas's community?

2. How would you feel if your parents had a feelings ritual? That is, every evening you would share your feelings or concerns with your family members.

 Chapter 2

 1. If some older people in your community were to observe you, what job do you think they'd give you and why?

2. In your family or community, how is a child's coming into a family different than the way it is described in Chapter 2?

Chapter 3

What do you think of the way differences are treated in the community?

What do you think happened to the apple?

Chapter 4

Do you think the rule against bragging is a good one? Why or why not?

What do you think about release now?

Chapter 5

At one point, the clean up of meals is referred to in this chapter. How do you think meals are prepared and served?

Explain in your own words what happened to Jonas in this chapter and what effect the pills have on him?

At this point, what good elements do you find in the society of the community? What seems inappropriate to you? Explain your reasons.

Chapter 6

1. What, if anything, strikes you as strange about the Ceremony of Loss?

2. Do you think it would be possible in our world to have a match-making service with a 100% success rate, like the one in the community? Why or why not?

Chapter 7

1.  Do the assignments given out seem appropriate to you?

2. Why do you think the Chief Elder skips Jonas?

Chapter 8

1.  What do you think a Receiver of Memory might do? Could anyone in our country/culture be considered a Receiver of Memory?

Chapter 9

1.  What struck you most forcibly about Jonas’s rules? What struck Jonas most forcibly?

2.  Do you think that other members of the community lie? Explain why you think as you do.

Chapter 10

1.  What unique aspects does Jonas notice in the furnishings of The Receiver’s quarters?

2.  Why do you think Jonas doesn’t know what the words sled, snow, and downhill mean?

Chapter 11

1.  At some point in the past, the community seems to have chosen a way of life that is referred to as Sameness. What kinds of experiences and hopes do you think led to this choice?

2.  In what ways do we preserve memories in our society?

3.  On page 75, the old man refers to himself as “The Receiver.” On page 87, he refers to himself as “The Giver.” What significance do you attach to this?

Chapter 12

1.  What do you think would be different in the world if we had only one-generation memories?

2.  Are your feelings about Sameness undergoing any change? Explain.

Chapter 13

1.  What do you think of the community’s concept of family?

2.  What do you think The Giver means when he says, “without the memories, it’s all meaningless” (page 105)? Do you agree with him? Explain.

 Chapter 14

1.  Do you think it’s better to share sorrows or for each person to try to bear his or her own pain? Explain your answer.

2.  Why do you think Jonas was able to transmit a memory to Gabriel, when he couldn’t with Asher, Lily, or his father?

Chapter 15

1.  How is Jonas now a Giver?

2.  Do you think The Giver needs to ask Jonas’s forgiveness? If you were Jonas, what would you have said in response to The Giver’s request for forgiveness? Why?

3.  How do you think Jonas will feel about The Giver and his Assignment now?

Chapter 16

1.  Why is the memory of the birthday party special to Jonas?

2.  What clues helped you infer what the unnamed celebration was?

3.  Compare the treatment of the Old in the community to their treatment in the family scene Jonas receives as a memory. Which shows more respect and caring in your opinion? Explain.

4.  Why do you think Jonas confides in Gabriel?

Chapter 17

1.  What changes have the memories brought about in Jonas?

2.  How is the game of war a turning point in Jonas’s experience?

Chapter 18

1.  What do you gather from the fact that after nearly a year, Jonas still apologizes for imprecision, interrupting, and rudeness, despite The Giver’s assurances that he needn’t?

2.  When The Giver looks at Jonas imploringly, what does he want?

Chapter 19

1.  What do you think of Jonas’s explanation of why the twin is being released?

2.  On page 143 in Chapter 18, the narrator indicated that Jonas didn’t think that the failure with Rosemary was “such a terrible thing, after all.” What do you think Jonas thinks now?

 Chapter 20

1.  How do you feel about Fiona now?

2.  Now what do you think pale eyes signify? Explain how you came to this conclusion.

3.  How did your ideas change when you learned that Rosemary was The Giver’s daughter?

Chapter 21

1.  How has Jonas’s understanding of the community changed since the beginning of the book?

2.  What do you think happened in the community the day that Jonas left? What do you think The Giver did?

3.  Why do you think the planes stopped?

Chapter 22

1.  If Jonas and Gabriel starve, will their venture have been worth it in your opinion? Explain.

2.  Why does the text say, “he had made the wrong (choice)” (page 173), and a few lines later say, “there had not really been a choice,” which seems to contradict the first statement.

Chapter 23

1.  How does the content of Jonas’s memories change as he approaches the summit of the hill?

2.  What does it mean that Jonas found “a memory of his own”?

3.  What do you think awaited Jonas and Gabriel at the end of the sled ride?

Extending the story

Did Jonas hear music or an echo behind him? Explain what happened in the community after Jonas left. Did things go at all as he and The Giver had planned?

What happened to Jonas and Gabriel when they reached Elsewhere? Were there people there to meet them? Were they expected? What kind of society was it? What were people doing?

Does any connection ever form between Elsewhere and the community from which Jonas and Gabriel came?

What happens to The Giver?

What are the roles Jonas and Gabriel will play in Elsewhere?