The selected for them. The spouses are
The Giver is about a community in the future that has eliminated pain, war, hunger, andother negative aspects of life by converting their world to “Sameness”. They have gottenrid of all things unwanted and inconvenient, including snow which makes growing cropsdifficult. Everyone in the community wears the same clothes and behaves the same,thus there is very little room for conflict. Everything is organised so that life in thecommunity is as pleasant and convenient as possible. The community has alsoeliminated choice, in the fear that people would make the wrong choices. Each child isassigned a job when they all turn twelve on the same day.
They can apply for a spouseand a suitable spouse will then be selected for them. The spouses are then able to applyfor children. Each “family unit” is only allowed two children, one male and one female.When Jonas, the protagonist, turns twelve at the Ceremony of Twelves, he is selected asthe new Receiver of Memories. The Receiver is responsible for harbouring thecommunity’s collective memories so that they do not repeat the mistakes from the pastand so that the rest of the communities do not have to know what suffering feels like.
The Receiver has to bear the burden of all this pain and grief on his own. As Jonasreceives these memories, both good and bad, from the Giver he realises how bland theircommunity is and how much they had to give up in order to attain this convenient worldin which they live.