The Giver is a 1993 American young adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. The novel follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas. Profoundly inspirational The Giver quotes will brighten up your day and make you feel ready to take on anything.
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Famous The Giver Quotes
He was free to enjoy the breathless glee that overwhelmed himthe speed, the clear cold air, the total silence, the feeling of balance and excitement and peace.
He was so completely, so thoroughly accustomed to courtesy within the community that the thought of asking another citizen an intimate question, f calling someone’s attention to an area of awkwardness, was unnerving.
I have great honor. … But you will find that that is not the same as power.
How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made.
…how could you describe a hill and snow to someone who had never felt height or wind or that feathery, magical cold?
But the Receiver-in-Training … is to be alone, apart, while he is prepared by the current Receiver for the job which is the most honored in our community.
His mind reeled. Now, empowered to ask questions of utmost rudeness-and promised answers-he could, conceivably (though it was almost unimaginable), ask someone, some adult, his father perhaps‘Do you lie?’ But he would have no way of knowing if the answer he received was true.
Always in the dream, it seemed as if there were a destinationa something–he could not grasp what-that lay beyond the place where the thickness of snow brought the sled to a stop. He was left, upon awakening, with the feeling that he wanted, even somehow needed, to reach the something that waited in the distance. The feeling that it was good. That it was welcoming. That it was significant. But he did not know how to get there.
I always thought there was only us. I thought there was only now.
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.
He liked the feeling of safety here in this warm and quiet room; he liked the expression of trust on the woman’s face as she lay in the water unprotected, exposed, and free.
I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.
His childhood, his friendships, his carefree sense of security-all of these things [seem] to be slipping away. With his new, heightened feelings, he was overwhelmed by sadness at the way the others had laughed and shouted, playing at war. But he knew that they could not understand why, without the memories. He felt such love for Asher and for Fiona. But they could not feel it back, without the memories. And he could not give them those.
He hunched his shoulders and tried to make himself smaller in the seat. He wanted to disappear, to fade away, not to exist. He didn’t dare to turn and find his parents in the crowd. He couldn’t bear to see their faces darkened with shame. Jonas bowed his head and searched through his mind. What had he done wrong?
He wept because he was afraid now that he could not save Gabriel. He no longer cared about himself
But why can’t everyone have the memories? I think it would seem a little easier if the memories were shared. You and I wouldn’t have to bear so much by ourselves, if everybody took a part.The Giver sighed. You’re right, he said. But then everyone would be burdened and pained. They don’t want that. And that’s the real reason The Receiver is so vital to them, and so honored. They selected me – and you – to lift that burden from themselves.
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.
I don’t know what you mean when you say ‘the whole world’ or ‘generations before him.‘I thought there was only us. I thought there was only now.
He knew that there was no quick comfort for emotions like those. They were deeper and they did not need to be told. They were felt.
Even trained for years as they all had been in precision of language, what words could you use which would give another the experience of sunshine?
He wondered what lay in the far distance where he had never gone. The land didn’t end beyond those nearby community. Were there hills Elsewhere? Were there vast wind-torn areas like the place he had seen in memory, the place where the elephants died?
For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure.
…the half-closed eyes of a boy who seemed not much older than himself. Dirt streaked the boy’s face and his matted blond hair. He lay sprawled, his gray uniform glistening with wet, fresh blood. The colors of the carnage were grotesquely brightthe crimson wetness on the rough and dusty fabric, the ripped shred of grass, startlingly green, in the boy’s yellow hair.
Feelings are not part of the life she’s learned.
He was awed by the surprises that lay beyond each curve of the road.
After Twelve, age isn’t important. Most of us even lose track of how old we are as time passes, though information is in the Hall of Open Records… What’s important is the preparation for adult life, and the training you’ll receive in your Assignment.
But when he looked out across the crowd, the sea of faces, the thing happened again. The thing that had happened with the apple. They changed. He blinked, and it was gone. His shoulder straightened slightly. Briefly he felt a tiny sliver of sureness for the first time.
He found that he was often angry…that 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.
We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.
Back and back and back.Jonas repeated the familiar phrase. Sometimes it had seemed humorous to him. Sometimes it had seemed meaningful and important.
But there was nothing left to do but continue
I liked the feeling of love, he confessed. He glanced nervously at the speaker on the wall, reassuring himself that no one was listening. I wish we still had that, he whispered. Of course, he added quickly, I do understand that it wouldn’t work very well. And that it’s much better to be organized the way we are now. I can see that it was a dangerous way to live.
If everything’s the same, then there aren’t any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!
If he had stayed in the community, he would not be. It was as simple as that. Once he had yearned for choice. Then, when he has had a choice, he had made the wrong onethe choice to leave. And now he was starving.
If you were to be lost in the river, Jonas, your memories would not be lost with you. Memories are forever.
It … was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals.
It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.
It was as simple as that. Once he had yearned for choice. then, when he had had a choice, he had made the wrong onethe choice to leave. And now he was starving. But if he had stayed… His thoughts continued. If he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways. He would have lived a life hungry for feelings, for color, for love.
It was not a grasping of thin and burdensome recollection; this was different. This was something that he could keep. It was a memory of his own
It’s just that… without the memories it’s all meaningless.
It’s the choosing that’s important, isn’t it?
It’s the way they live. It’s the life that was created for them. It’s the same life that you would have, if you had not been chosen as my successor.
Jonas began to remember the wonderful sail that The Giver had given him not long beforea bright, breezy day on a clear turquoise lake, and above him the white sail of the boat billowing as he moved along in the brisk wind.
Jonas felt a ripping sensation inside himself, the feeling of terrible pain clawing its way forward to emerge in a cry.
Life here is so orderly, so predictable—so painless.
Memories are forever.
Memories need to be shared.
No one mentioned such things; it was not a rule, but was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals.
Now he became aware of an entirely new sensationpinpricks? No, because they were soft and without pain. Tiny, cold, featherlike feelings peppered his body and face. He put out his tongue again, and caught one of the dots of cold upon it. It disappeared from his awareness instantly; but he caught another, and another. The sensation made him smile. .
Now he saw another elephant emerge from the place where it had stood hidden in the trees. Very slowly it walked to the mutilated body and looked down. With its sinuous trunk it struck the huge corpse; then it reached up, broke some leafy branches with a snap, and draped them over the mass of torn thick flesh. Finally it tilted its massive head, raised its trunk, and roared into the empty landscape…It was a sound of rage and grief and it seemed never to end.
Now he understood the joy of being an individual, special and unique and proud.
Now it was ominous. It meant, he knew, that nothing could be changed.
Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.
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.
Simply stated, although it’s not really simple at all, my job is to transmit to you all the memories I have within me. Memories of the past.
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.
The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.
The man corrected him. Honor,he said firmly. I have great honor. So will you. But you will find that that is not the same as power.
The newchild stirred slightly in his sleep. Jonas looked over at him.
The sled hit a bump in the hill and Jonas is 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…Then, the first wave of pain. He gasped. It was as if a hatchet lay lodged in his leg, slicing through each nerve with a hot blade. In his agony, he perceived the word ‘fire’ and felt flames licking at the torn bone and flesh.
The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.
Then it was in his hand, and he looked at it carefully, but it was the same apple. Unchanged. The same size and shapea perfect sphere. The same nondescript shade, about the same shade as his own tunic.
Then, in the same way that his own dwelling slipped away behind him as he rounded a corner on his bicycle, the dream slipped away from his thoughts. Very briefly, a little guiltily, he tried to grasp it back. But the feelings had disappeared. The Stirrings were gone.
There could be love,Jonas whispered.
There was just a moment when things weren’t quite the same, weren’t quite as they had always been through the long friendship.
There was never any comfortable way to mention or discuss one’s successes without breaking the rule against bragging, even if one didn’t mean to.
There’s much more. There’s all that goes beyond – all … that is Elsewhere – and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room, all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. And how we shape our future.
They have never known pain, he thought. The realization made him feel desperately lonely.
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.
Things could change, Gabe. Things could be different. I don’t know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors. And grandparents. And everybody would have memories. You know about memories.
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? For a moment, he felt a tiny, fluttering hope that he knew was quite foolish. He hoped that it would be Larissa, waiting. Larissa, the old woman he had bathed.
We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.
We really have to protect people from the wrong choices.
Well … Jonas had to stop and think it through. If everything’s the same, then there aren’t any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things! A blue tunic, or a red one?
What if others-adults-had, upon becoming Twelves, received in their instructions the same terrifying sentence? What if they had all been instructedYou may lie?
What if they were allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong?
Without the memories, it’s all meaningless.
You may lie.
You suggested, Jonas, that perhaps she wasn’t brave enough? I don’t know about braverywhat it is, what it means. I do know that I sat here numb with horror. Wretched with helplessness. And I listened as Rosemary told them that she would prefer to inject herself.
You will be faced, now, with pain of a magnitude that none of us here can comprehend because it is beyond our experience. The Receiver himself was not able to describe it, only to remind us that you would be faced with it, that you would need immense courage.