iSearch for The Giver

For the iSearch assignment, I chose to inquire about the term “release”. I was grabbed by the term in the beginning, as I’m sure most people were, although I didn’t look into it until after I read the whole book to not spoil anything. I feel like I had an advantage to reading the book and then doing my assignment for a few reasons;

  • I was able to use insight from later chapters to help come to a conclusion on my feelings towards it.
  • I was able to draw information from different uses of the words, especially when they were said to be used as a punishment.
  • After learning what release was, and how it was viewed as such a positive thing, I understood the emotional conflict going on in Jonas’s mind when he was debating whether or not to leave with Gabe.


allow or enable to escape from confinement; set free.
“the government announced that the prisoners would be released”
synonyms: free, set free, let go/out, allow to leave, liberate, set at liberty

Does the definition have any resemblance to what was described in the book?
The use of the term release in the book was often a thing that wasn’t mention for more than a paragraph or two, I feel like it does have some relation to the definition although not directly. In the book it means to kill, get rid of, or remove people in the town who are either old, misbehave often, or are so unhealthy that they are of no use to the community.

How is it important to the plot?

Release is something Jonas struggles with greatly towards the end of the book. He was angry that people weren’t allowed to make decisions and that release was something people didn’t even know about, since the citizens were never even told about what it was. I don’t feel like the citizens could really be blamed for being so oblivious to everything because they were never given a chance, and that it was all they knew. Although it was the memories that Jonas wanted to return to them, I think that how heartless and cruel that release without consent is was a big reason why Jonas chose to leave.

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