Top 3 The Giver quotes

  • " I always thought there was only us. I thought there was only now." - Jonas, Chapter 10

    This is Jonas's reaction after he experiences the memory of the older generation and begins to comprehend that there had once been something different to his own way of life. The community prevents its citizens from retaining memories older than a generation, and it does so primarily by dismantling the institution of the family. Family units in The Giver are temporary arrangements, and since the citizens are prevented from experiencing any deep emotions, the family unit is easily dismantled once the children of the unit are old enough to lead their own independent lives. Jonas is forced to confront this reality later in the book when the Giver shares his favorite memory with Jonas.

  • "Without the memories, it's all meaningless." -The Giver, Chapter 13

    This is how the Giver responds when Jonas talks about his science class and his teachers. This is one of the few instances in which the Giver makes plain his frustration with the order of their society, and displays actual resentment. His bitterness is understandable as he is forced to relive the pain from thousands of memories but is unable to utilize the wisdom that he gleans from the memories he experiences. The Receiver's role remains limited because the Committee of Elders finds their ordered and painless lives pleasant. They do not seek to improve the conditions of their citizen's lives.

  • "Now he understood the joy of being an individual, special and unique and proud. " -The narrator, Chapter 16

    This is a quote from Jonas's experience of a birthday party as the people around him celebrate him. In a society where being unique is frowned upon, Jonas has been forced to live an existence of conformity. Through the memories, Jonas understands what it means to be an individual. He begins to assert his individuality as he secretly shares memories with a restless Gabriel and stops taking his medication for the Stirrings.