The Giver

The Giver Character Analysis

Known as the Receiver until Jonas becomes his trainee, The Giver is a kind, elderly man whose breadth of experience through memory makes him look and seem older than he actually is. Although he lives in luxurious quarters and does not have a very active life, he is weighted down by the memories he carries and is often subjected to crippling pain. He is wise and patient with Jonas, and grows to love him as he loved his previous trainee, Rosemary. His grief and sense of hopelessness after Rosemary's death is later transformed into enthusiasm for Jonas's idea for escape. The Giver demonstrates total selflessness by offering to remain behind in order to help the community cope with the influx of memories. He willingly offers Jonas his most precious memories of love and music, and his selflessness inspires Jonas to risk his own life to save Gabriel.

The Giver Quotes in The Giver

The The Giver quotes below are all either spoken by The Giver or refer to The Giver. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Giver published in 2012.
Chapter 11 Quotes
I have a great honor. So will you. But you will find that that is not the same as power.
Related Characters: The Giver (speaker), Jonas
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes
Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others. >
Related Characters: The Giver (speaker)
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 13 Quotes
Sometimes I wish they'd ask for my wisdom more often-there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they don't want change. Life here is so orderly, so predictable-so painless. It's what they've chosen.
Related Characters: The Giver (speaker)
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes
"I couldn't quite get the word for the whole feeling of it, the feeling that was so strong in the room."
"Love," The Giver told him.
Related Characters: Jonas (speaker), The Giver (speaker)
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 18 Quotes
Memories are forever.
Related Characters: The Giver (speaker)
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 20 Quotes
"Having you here with me over the past year has made me realize that things must change. For years I've felt that they should, but it seemed so hopeless. Now for the first time I think there might be a way," The Giver said slowly.
Related Characters: The Giver (speaker), Jonas
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 21 Quotes
Though he had never seen one before, he identified it from his fading memories, for The Giver had given them to him often. It was a bird.
Related Characters: Jonas, The Giver
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Giver Character Timeline in The Giver

The timeline below shows where the character The Giver appears in The Giver. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
...of the Old, where a desk attendant unlocks a door and respectfully directs Jonas to The Receiver 's room. Jonas is surprised because no doors are ever locked. The attendant tells Jonas... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
The Receiver 's quarters are more luxurious and spacious than any houses in the community. His bed... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Receiver is old and grey, and tells Jonas that he is going to use his last... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Receiver describes himself as weighed down by memories, like a sled traveling downhill but slowed by... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
The Receiver instructs Jonas to lie on his stomach. He walks over to the wall speaker, which... (full context)
Chapter 11
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Receiver places his hands on Jonas's back and transmits the memory of sledding down a hill:... (full context)
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
Afterward, The Receiver tells Jonas that other people do not have the memories of sledding or hills or... (full context)
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Receiver next gives Jonas a memory of sunshine. At Jonas's request, he then gives Jonas his... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
As Jonas leaves for the day, The Receiver tells Jonas not to call him "The Receiver" any longer, since Jonas is actually the... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
...way that the apple changed. When he arrives a minute late to his session with The Giver , The Giver asks him why he arrived late. He explains that the sight of... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
...the community would want to get rid of the color red, which is so beautiful. The Giver responds that the community had to give up some things in order to gain control... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver explains that Fiona's hair is unlike other people's hair—just as Jonas's eyes are different from... (full context)
Chapter 13
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jonas soon becomes angry that color has been removed from his world. He tells The Giver that he wants to choose things for himself, like which color shirt to wear in... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
One day soon after, The Giver gives Jonas a memory of an elephant killed by poachers, with its tusks cut off... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
One day, Jonas asks whether The Giver has a wife. The Giver says that he did, once, but now his wife was... (full context)
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver tells Jonas that he wishes the Committee of Elders would ask for his wisdom more... (full context)
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
Some afternoons, Jonas arrives for training and The Giver is hunched over in pain with a memory. On those days he sends Jonas away.... (full context)
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
One day, Jonas asks The Giver to give him one of the painful memories. By taking a painful memory, Jonas realizes,... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver gives Jonas a memory of falling from the sled, breaking his leg and scraping his... (full context)
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
After many more days in which The Giver transmits painful memories to him, Jonas, frustrated, asks The Giver why they have to hold... (full context)
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver tells Jonas that people do not want memories of pain. The Receiver's job is so... (full context)
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Worried that he will be reprimanded or worse, Jonas decides not to tell The Giver about what he has done. He frightens himself with the thought that he has more... (full context)
Chapter 15
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The next day The Giver is in terrible pain, and he asks Jonas to take the memory he is having.... (full context)
Chapter 16
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver is gentle with Jonas for days following the war memory. He gives Jonas wonderful memories... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
When Jonas asks The Giver to describe his favorite memory, The Giver tells Jonas he wants to give it to... (full context)
Chapter 18
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The next day, Jonas asks The Giver about release. The Giver responds that on days when his memories particularly pain him, he... (full context)
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Giver tells Jonas that her name was Rosemary, and that he loved her very much, the... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
...in release stems from the fact that his father is releasing a twin that morning. The Giver wishes newchildren weren't released, then tells Jonas that as Receiver he can actually watch releases.... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver turns on the video screen, and he and Jonas watch as Jonas's father weighs the... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver explains that this is why he was so sad when Rosemary was released. He tells... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jonas demands that they do something to stop the community from living in ignorance. The Giver argues that change is hopeless, and that the other people of the community don't feel... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jonas and The Giver hatch a plan: Jonas will escape from the community, so that all of his memories... (full context)
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Giver tells Jonas he is not able to see colors anymore because he has given them... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
The Giver and Jonas decide that over the next two weeks, The Giver will transmit as many... (full context)
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
The Giver will stay behind and help people cope with their new memories. He tells Jonas that... (full context)
Chapter 21
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jonas and The Giver 's plan hits a snag that night: at dinner, Jonas's father tells the family that... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
...support him rather than all the memories of courage he had expected to have from The Giver , he rides across the river and out of the community. (full context)