The Giver


Lois Lowry

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Feeling and Emotion Theme Analysis

Themes and Colors
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Freedom and Choice Theme Icon
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Giver, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Feeling and Emotion Theme Icon

The people of Jonas's community don't understand genuine emotion or pain, because their lifestyles allow no opportunity to experience it. Birthmothers are not allowed to raise their own children. Sex is forbidden and sexual urges medicated away. Adults are not allowed to choose their own spouses. Identical twins are not both allowed to survive because they would be too close emotionally. Every decision made in the community serves a purely practical purpose and is based on the rules set down at the time of the community's establishment, promoting Sameness and leaving no room for sentimentality.

Jonas is unique in that he longs for human closeness even before he meets The Giver. When he bathes Larissa at the House of the Old, he realizes the beauty of touch and intimacy. When he begins his training as Receiver, he realizes that true emotion is only accessible to those who have memory and experience. He also realizes that one can only experience joy and love if one understands pain and loneliness. As he experiences the breadth and beauty of human emotion, Jonas comes to believe that it is cruel to allow people to continue living in numbness. His ultimate escape from the community is an act of love toward those who do not know how to love him in return. By leaving, Jonas is able to give them feeling.

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Feeling and Emotion ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Feeling and Emotion appears in each chapter of The Giver. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Feeling and Emotion Quotes in The Giver

Below you will find the important quotes in The Giver related to the theme of Feeling and Emotion.
Chapter 4 Quotes
He just bowed to all of us and then walked, like they all do, through the special door in the Releasing Room. But you should have seen his look. Pure happiness, I'd call it.
Related Characters: Larissa (speaker)
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Chapter 13 Quotes
[Jonas] watched them hack the tusks from a motionless elephant on the ground and then haul them away, spattered with blood. He felt himself overwhelmed with a new perception of the color he knew as red.
Related Characters: Jonas
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
They were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on. And he was angry at himself, that he could not change that for them.
Related Characters: Jonas
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Chapter 14 Quotes
The sled hit a bump in the hill and Jonas was jarred loose and thrown violently into the air. He fell with his leg twisted under him, and could hear the crack of bone. His face scraped along jagged edges of ice… In his agony he perceived the world "fire" and felt flames licking at the torn bone and flesh.
Related Characters: Jonas
Related Symbols: The Snow-covered Hill
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:
He was not aware of giving the memory; but suddenly he realized that it was becoming dimmer, that it was sliding through his hand into the being of the newchild.
Related Characters: Jonas
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Chapter 17 Quotes
He felt such love for Asher and for Fiona. But they could not feel it back, without the memories.
Related Characters: Jonas, Asher, Fiona
Page Number: 170
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes
He killed it! My father killed it! Jonas said to himself.
Related Characters: Jonas (speaker), Jonas's Father
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Chapter 22 Quotes
He wept because he was afraid now that he could not save Gabriel. He no longer cared about himself.
Related Characters: Jonas, Gabriel
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes
For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps it was only an echo.
Related Characters: Jonas
Related Symbols: The Snow-covered Hill
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis: