The Giver Creating a Utopian Society


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The Giver

Creating a Utopian Society

  1. Define the word “Utopia.”

  1. You have been asked by the government to develop an ideal society-a utopian society. In this society, all members must be equal. Racism, violence, crime, homelessness, poverty, divorce, and hunger cannot exist. Choose one problem that you must remove from society. Write your choice below.

Ans: ____________________________________________________________

  1. Brainstorm ways to remove the problem. Will you change laws? How can you contribute to making society a perfect place? In the space below, write suggestions for eliminating the problem you chose.

Chapters1 & 2


Choose the word from the word box that comes closest in meaning to the underlined word or phrase in each sentence below.

Word Box

aptitude apprehensive prominent palpable

vital nurture sleek wheedled

adherence distraught intrigued ironic

  1. She admired the neighbor’s cat for its glossy, black fur. __________________

  1. Bob was so interested in his mystery novel that he didn’t hear the telephone ring. _________________

  1. Sarah didn’t believe what the orator was saying and made sarcastic comments throughout the speech. ____________________

  1. The score of the football game was so close that the tension in the room was tangible. _________________

  1. Jim became hysterical when he discovered the long scratch on his new sports car. __________________

  1. She was fearful about graduating from college, but her friends assured her she’d have no problem finding a job. ______________________

  1. Jane coaxed and begged, but she could not convince anyone to try her meatloaf. __________________

  1. When Glenn came down with a bad cold, Jenny had to nurse him back to health. ___________________

  1. Janet would have applied for the secretarial position, but the ability to type 90 words per minute was an essential part of the job. ___________________

  2. Bill’s ability to simply listen to an engine and deduce from the sound what was wrong made him an important mechanic. _____________________

  1. Brad’s stubborn obedience to the rules of the game made it difficult for his teammates to cheat. _______________________

  1. Jen had a talent for public speaking that many in the audience admired. ____________________


The setting of a story is the time period and location in which the story takes place. Setting also consists of the social and moral environment against which the story plays out. In The Giver, we are told nothing about the geographical location of Jonas’s community, nor are we told in what year the story takes place, but we are given textual clues to help us determine the characteristics of the community.

Part 1:

Read each of the following passage below. Then explain what each passage suggests or reveals to you about Jonas’s community.

1. Then all of the citizens had been ordered to go into the nearest building and stay there. IMMEDIATELY, the rasping voice through the speakers had said. LEAVE YOUR BICYCLES WHERE THEY ARE. (p. 2)

2. When the class took their seats at the conclusion of the patriotic hymn, Asher

remained standing to make his public apology as was required. (p. 3)

3. “Who wants to be the first tonight, for feelings?” Jonas’s father asked at the

conclusion of their evening meal. It was one of the rituals, the evening telling of feelings. (p. 4)

4. Lily considered, and shook her head. “I don’t know. They acted like…like...”

“Animals?” Jonas suggested. He laughed.

“That’s right,” Lily said, laughing too. “Like animals.” Neither child knew

what the word meant, exactly, but it was often used to describe someone uneducated or clumsy, someone who didn’t fit in. (p. 5)

5. Most of the people on the night crew had not even been given spouses because

they lacked, somehow, the essential capacity to connect to others, which was required for the creation of a family unit. (p. 8)

6. Today a repeat offender had been brought before her, someone who had

broken the rules before. Someone who she hoped had been adequately and fairly punished, and who had been restored to his place: to his job, his home, his family unit… “The rules say that if there’s a third transgression, he simply has to be released.” (p. 8-9)

7. Each December, all the newchildren born in the previous year turned One. One at a time…they had been brought to the stage by the Nurturers who had cared for them since birth. (p. 11)

8. “The year we got Lily, we knew, of course, that we’d receive our female,

because we’d made our application and been approved.” (p. 11-12)

9. …her father had already gone to the shelf and taken down the stuffed elephant

which was kept there. Many of the comfort objects, like Lily’s, were soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures. Jonas’s had been called a bear. (p. 18-19)

Part 2:

It should become quickly apparent as you read The Giver, that behavior in Jonas’s community is governed by a set of rules. As you read The Giver, record each of the rules you read about in the story. For now, list five rules that we learn about in these first two chapters of The Giver.


  1. The author writes of occasions when members of the community are released. What are the three reasons someone might be released from the community?

  1. Who decides on a person’s Assignment? How do they arrive at this decision? If someone was observing you for the past year, what Assignment would you receive?

  1. How do you feel about the prospect of choosing your own career? Would you rather it be chosen for you, or would you prefer to make your own decision?


You may have been given rules to follow by those in authority over you. Your parents may have set household rules, you may have rules at school or church, and every community has its own set of ordinances. What do you think about these rules? Do you view rules as merely standards for behavior that people should try to achieve, or are they constants and absolutes that must be followed? Of what value is a rule if no one really follows it? Is there a difference between rules and laws? Fully explain your answers.

Chapters 3-5


Use each of the following vocabulary words correctly in the sentences below:

chastisement, petulantly, tabulate, remorse, bewildered.

  1. The little girl stamped her foot _____________ when she was denied a second helping of cake.

  1. Select a toy for your little brother because he will only become _____________ by the many choices in the toy store.

  1. Breaking minor rules results only in gentle ______________________.

  1. I knew my son felt ____________ for teasing his sister when he offered to take her to the movies.

  1. After all the votes were ______________, it was clear the my candidate had lost the election.


  1. (a) What effect did the pills have on Jonas and the other people who took them?

(b) Why do you think all adults were required to take them?

  1. Why do you think Birthmothers, or biological mothers, held such a low status in the community?

Chapters 6-8


Antonyms are word with opposite or nearly opposite, meanings. Draw a line from each word in column A to its antonym in column B. Then use the words in column A to fill in the blanks in the sentences below.

Column A Column B

  1. benign a. carelessly

  2. exuberant b. acquire

  3. apprehensive c. harmful

  4. meticulously d. downcast

  5. relinquish e. tranquil

Jonas’s family pledged to _________________ Gabe once he was assigned to his own family unit.

__________________ applause greeted the naming of each award winner.
Jonas believed the community was so ________________ structured that anyone could fit in.
The Chief Elder’s ____________ statement reassured the uneasy audience.
Elevens who had shown no special ability or interest were ______________ about their Life Assignment.


  1. Nines were given bicycles. What did that signify for them?

  1. Why had Asher been punished for confusing the words “snack” and “smack”?

  1. Name four qualifications for being the next Receiver of Memory.


A different World

Jonas’s world is very different from the world in which you live. It is difficult, however, to decide whose world is the better world. The following statements outline characteristics of Jonas’s community. Read each statement carefully and then choose one statement that interests you.


  1. Parents should have to apply for children to prevent burdening society with children whose parents are unprepared, unwilling, or unable to care for and nurture productive members of society.

  1. Children entering adolescence should be given drugs to dull their sexuality, thereby preventing sexual misconduct and unwanted pregnancies.

  1. Each member of society should be assigned an occupation consistent with her or his individual skills to prevent unemployment, job dissatisfaction, and inefficiency.

Use the space below in which to brainstorm ideas that support the statement you chose.

Writing Exercise:

Use your notes to write an essay either agreeing or disagreeing with the statement you chose. Be sure to support your position with specific reasons and examples.

Chapters 9-13

Part 1

Use the context to determine the meaning of the underlined word in each of the following sentences. Choose its meaning from the choices listed below each sentence.

( ) 1. Any young men with severe vision problem will be exempted from military service.

a. expelled b. freed c. delayed d. acquitted

( ) 2. To protect people from nighttime bombings, there was a prohibition against going out after dark.

a. encouragement b. ban c. flight d. permission

( ) 3. Instruction in learning to read is an integral part of most first grade programs.

a. essential b. intense c. abhorrent d. unimportant

( ) 4. Although some people find a ride on a rollercoaster to be exhilarating, I find it terrifying.

a. amusing b. frightening c. tedious d. stimulating

( ) 5. In the fall, the number of daylight hours diminishes.

a. lessens b. expands c. vanishes d. increases

Part 2

Choose a word from the Word Box to replace each underlined word with a more descriptive word that has a similar meaning. Write the word on the line below the sentence.


admonition assimilated

phenomenon skeptically


Jonas told The Giver that he had witnessed a strange occurrence when he looked at an apple and at his friend Fiona’s hair.


Jonas’s life took on a vitality that his friends’ lives lacked.


Lily answered doubtfully when Jonas told her that once elephants really existed.


When memories were released accidentally, people panicked until the memories were absorbed.


When Jonas’s father asked him about his dreams, Jonas remembered the Giver’s warning not to discuss them.



  1. Which item in the list of duties and responsibilities frightened Jonas? Why did this frighten him?

  1. What two lessons did Jonas learn about the sun?

  1. Why did the community relinquish the ability to perceive color?

Chapters 14-16


Use each of the following vocabulary words in a sentence of your own: daub, ecstatic, obsolete, ominous, pervade.


  1. According to The Giver, why did Jonas have to receive and store memories of pain?

  1. 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.

Simile – Read the passage below and answer the questions about simile.
He fell with his leg twisted under him, and could hear the crack of bone…It was as if a hatchet lay lodged in his leg, slicing through each nerve with a hot blade. (p. 108-109)

    1. What two things are being compared?

    1. What is the effect of this comparison?

Dramatic Irony – Complete the following exercise on dramatic irony.
Jonas…had wondered what lay Elsewhere. Was there someone there, waiting, who would receive the tiny released twin? Would it grow up Elsewhere, not knowing, ever, that in this community lived a being who looked exactly the same? (don’t have to answer these)
For a moment he felt a tiny, fluttering hope that he knew was quite foolish. He hoped that it would be Larissa, waiting…Fiona had told him recently that Larissa had been released at a wonderful ceremony. (p. 114-115)
What does the reader understand about this statement that Jonas does not? (answer this)

Chapters 17-20


Part 1

Word analogies are equations in which the first pair of words has the same relationship as the second pair of words. For example: SHALLOW is to DEEP as FRIVOLOUS is to SOLEMN. Both pairs of words are antonyms. Choose the best word from the Word Box to compete each of the analogies below.


fleeting glum

horde suppress


PRESIDENT is to REPUBLIC as MONARCH is to _______________________.

ECSTATIC is to JOYOUS as MELANCHOLY is to _______________________.

FLOCK is to BIRDS as __________________ is to INSECTS.

CENSOR is to BOOKS as ____________________ is to SPEECH.

PERMANENT is to BRIEF as ETERNAL is to _______________________.

Part 2

Use the following words in sentences of your own: mimic, sarcasm, rueful, chaos, solace.


1. (a) Euphemisms – What was the euphemism for death in Jonas’s community?

(b) Name two euphemisms for death in our society.

(c) What are some euphemisms for …BATHROOM…GARBAGE COLLECTOR

2. 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 twin?

  1. Paradox – Answer the following question based on the example of paradox.

The community did not want change, which is why they created the Receiver of Memory whose job it was to assure Sameness. Yet The Giver said:

“My work will be finished when I have helped the community to change

and become whole.” (p. 162)

Explain the paradox in the sentence above.

Is Everybody Equal?

Gender equality (equality between girls and boys, women and men) is a controversial issue that is found in literature and in life. In this activity, you will explore the roles of men and women in The Giver. Complete the chart below. The first one has been completed for you.



Type of Person

Evidence Supporting

Your Assessment




Intelligent, thoughtful,


Jonas thinks deeply before he speaks-

shown when he explores his apprehension about the Ceremony of Twelve

Receiver of Memory



Jonas’s Father

Jonas’s Mother

Writing Exercise:

Do you think Jonas’s community is fairer than our society when it comes to equality between men and women? Why or why not?

Chapters 21-23

Use the following words to fill I the blanks in the sentences below:

augment, fugitives, languid, lethargy, taut.
Jonas coaxed Gabe to sleep with the memory of the rhythmic sound of ____________________ water lapping hypnotically against a beach.

Facing starvation, Jonas combed the fields to ________________ the food supply.

Together the _________________ slept through the first dangerous day.
After endless miles on the bicycle, Jonas’s leg muscles were __________________.
The memory of sunshine helped Jonas shake off the feeling of _________________

and restored his will to live.


  1. Name two other ways that memories helped Jonas during the journey?

  1. List two questions that the author left unanswered at the end of the book.

  1. Plot – The plot of a novel is the sequence of events that occurs during the course of the story to move it to its conclusion. The actions involve a problem or conflict that is introduced and developed in the rising action. The struggle culminates at the point of greatest suspense, the crisis or turning point. The conflict is then resolved in the falling action, which is usually shorter than the rising action. Plot structure is often graphically represented in this way:

Crisis (Turning Point)

Rising Action (Conflict) Falling Action (Resolution)

Beginning of Novel End of Novel

Use the chart below to list the major events of the novel in order.

Plot Structure

Major Events

Beginning of Novel

Rising Action (Conflict)

Crisis (Turning Point)

Falling Action (Resolution)

  1. Recall the definition of utopia discussed in the very beginning of the worksheet. Having read the novel, would you call the community a utopia or a dystopia (from dys-, meaning “bad,” and utopia) – a malfunctioning utopia in which conditions are inhumane and terrifying? Give an example from the novel to support your opinion.

  1. Essay (50 wds. at least). Choose one of the following to write about. Use the book to support your thesis!

  • What is Lowry saying about the care of the aged?

  • What is Lowry saying about abortion?

  • What is Lowry saying about crime?

  • What is Lowry saying about the freedom to choose?

  • What is Lowry saying about the family?

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