The Giver’s Ethical Choices—Analysis of The Giver from the Perspective of Ethical Literary Criticism

Xiaoxuan Feng


The Giver is a novel published in 1993 by Lois Lowry, an American female writer. The novel tells a story of a future community where people’s lives are arranged and regulated according to their scientific choices, but at the same time they have lost their freedom and right to choose. Since it was published, the novel has been analyzed and studied by a number of scholars, focusing on the growth of the young protagonist Jonas, the science fiction elements of the novel, and its dystopian perspective. This article analyzes both the scientific choices of the community and the Giver’s ethical choices from the perspective of ethical literary criticism. It reads carefully into the correct ethical choices made by the Giver when facing the incorrect scientific ones, revealing the benevolence, wisdom, courage, and sense of responsibility possessed by the Giver, and highlighting his value as well. The article reiterates that only the choices in line with the ethical selection criteria of “truth, goodness and beauty” of human civilization can be regarded as right ones. At the same time, the article’s research further prompts readers to reflect on the future of humanity and what to do in the face of scientific and ethical choices.

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