The Giver Language Analysis

Decent Essays

Semantics and language reveal the nature of the community depicted in The Giver by Lois Lowry. From the first moment that readers spend occupying the perspective of the novel’s protagonist, Jonas, the etiquette and conventions which define the community’s dialect seem to confine the storytelling. However, it becomes evident as the story progresses that “precision of language” actually reveals the nature of the community. dialect which much of the novel is filtered through shapes the consciousness of its characters. Because of its role in the community’s thoughts and speech, precision of language impacts behavior. In her exploration of semantics, Lois Lowry offers young readers a moment of revelation which they can apply to their own lives. The conventions of “precise language” promote a vocabulary which diminishes intense thoughts and feelings. Compared to a word such as “totalitarianism”, “sameness” is easy to say. Aside from having far less syllables, the word is neutral and lacks any hint of emotional charge. The social structure of the community in which The Giver takes place is described simply as “sameness”, designed to maximize comfort for …show more content…

Coming away from reading The Giver, readers might reflect on how the careful word choices of the characters in the story mold and restrict those characters’ behavior. When the characters begin to feel intense emotions, they correct themselves. The only things that are extreme in the community are self-suppression and “sameness”. Any potential for conflict among members of the community, even constructive conflict, is curbed by automatic apology and forgiveness. Death is easily forgiven under every circumstance, since its seriousness is diminished by language. By realizing the power of language at the same pace Jonas does, readers can come to terms with the power of language in their own lives and

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