The Giver – Literature – Narrative Point of View

The book is written in third-person limited narrative point of view, which gives priority to Jonas’s feelings and thoughts. Lowry uses third person limited narrative point of view to help the readers to interact and bond with Jonas. The readers see all the events through Jonas’s eyes from the beginning until the end of the book.
So, they can fully understand what Jonas thinks and observes and they can’t have any information which Jonas doesn’t have. At the same time, the readers can personally witness the changes in Jonas throughout the book. In the beginning of the book, Jonas seems to be an easy going and calm boy. However, he turns out to be a tense and rebellious boy as he becomes aware of the society in which he lives. For example, Jonas stops taking the medicine, which causes the people to be emotionless, when he understands its effects on the people.
Moreover, third-person limited point of view is not a narrow viewpoint and it is seen as the most reliable one. It is not only focused on main character but it also helps to discover all other characters and situations. In this way, Lowry gives the reader freedom and opportunity to explore the events in the book. In addition to this, Lowry leaves the ending to the reader’s interpretation. If The Giver was written in first person, we would probably know what happened to Jonas in the end.
“… they were waiting for him; and that they were waiting, too, for the baby. 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.” (180)
Lowry uses this point of view to portray an emotionless world, which perfectly suits the mood of the book. In the third-person limited point of view, characters are usually described with pronouns. To give an example, Jonas’s parents are called with only pronouns like “Jonas’s father or mother”. We don’t know their real names throughout the book.