Search for books, people and lists
Read This Twice
HomePeopleBooksLibrariesSign In
The Giver book cover
The Giver › Quotes

The Giver Quotes

The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.
We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.
If you were to be lost in the river, Jonas, your memories would not be lost with you. Memories are forever.
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 feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.
Of course they needed to care. It was the meaning of everything.
I liked the feeling of love,' [Jonas] 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.' ...'Still,' he said slowly, almost to himself, 'I did like the light they made. And the warmth.
The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.
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.
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?.
I knew that there had been times in the past-terrible times-when people had destroyed others in haste,in fear, and had brought about their own destruction.
If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!.
Gabe?" The newchild stirred slightly in his sleep. Jonas looked over at him. "There could be love", Jonas whispered.
...now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently. He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow - moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going.
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.
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.
What if they were allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong?.
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.
It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.
- My instructors in science and technology have taught us about how the brain works. It's full of electrical impulses. It's like a computer. If you stimulate one part of the brain with an electrode, it... - They know nothing.
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.
Memories are forever.
The community of the Giver had achieved at such great price. A community without danger or pain. But also, a community without music, color or art. And books.
When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong, every single time.
But there was nothing left to do but continue.
The man that I named The Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love, and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing.
Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of 'The Giver': the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.
There was just a moment when things weren't quite the same, weren't quite as they had always been through the long friendship.
Always in the dream, it seemed as if there were a destination: a 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.
...what words could you use which would give another the experience of sunshine?.
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.
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.
They have never known pain, he thought. The realization made him feel desperately lonely.
The worse part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.
...how could you describe a hill and snow to someone who had never felt height or wind or that feathery, magical cold?.
The man that I named The Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love, and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing. It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. It gives him choices. It gives him freedom. Those are magnificent, wonderfully unsafe things.
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.
It was as simple as that. Once he had yearned for choice. then, when he had had a choice, he had made the wrong one: the 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.
If he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways.
For all for children To whom we entrust the future.
I'm going to give you the memory of a rainbow.
...an urge, a need, a passionate yearning to share the warmth with the one person left for him to love.
All of it was new to him. After a life of Sameness and predictability, he was awed by the surprises that lay beyond each curve of the road.
A book, to me, is almost sacrosanct: such an individual and private thing. The reader brings his or her own history and beliefs and concerns, and reads in solitude, creating each scene from his own imagination as he does. There is no fellow ticket-holder in the next seat.
Didn't life consist of the things you did each day?.
Well...," Jonas had to stop and think it through. "If everything's the same, then there are no choices! I want to wake up in the morning and DECIDE things! A blue tunic, or a red one?.
Depth, he decided; as if one were looking into the clear water of the river, down to the bottom, where things might lurk which hadn't been discovered yet.
Once, back in the time of the memories, everything had a shape and size, the way things still do, but they also had a quality called COLOR.
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.
He found that he was often angry, now: irrationally angry at his groupmates, 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.
At dawn, the orderly, disciplined life he had always known would continue again, without him. The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without color, pain, or past.
He saw nothing except the endless ribbon of road unfolding in twisting narrow curves.
Sometimes he awoke with a feeling of fragments afloat in his sleep, but he couldn't seem to grasp them and put them together into something worthy of telling at the ritual.
Jonas felt a ripping sensation inside himself, the feeling of terrible pain clawing its way forward to emerge in a cry.
Precision of language, Jonah.
Why do you and I have to hold these memories?" "It gives us wisdom," The Giver replied.
And apples were always, always red.