Excerpt: Literary Craft in The Giver by Kathrina Welborn

Things that seem trivial, such as body language and speech, can be a window into a person’s thoughts and emotions. Other indicators of a person’s well being are their environment and with whom that person chooses to spend time. In The Giver by Lois Lowry, the citizens of the community in which Jonas lives are kept in the dark about issues such as hunger, war, and even death itself. They live in a black and white world, both literally and figuratively, and do not know color, love, or any true emotion. All of the memories of hardships and emotion are stored in a single person, the Giver. The Giver passes down the memories to the Receiver, who then becomes the next Giver. When Jonas is selected as the Receiver, he starts to gain knowledge of the real world, not just the utopian microcosm of the real world that he lives in. This journey makes its mark on his thoughts, mental health, and even his physical health. Lowry uses symbolism, dialogue, and sentence structure to show Jonas’s state of being and mental health throughout the book.

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