The Truth In Her Words

The Truth In Her Words:

An Essay based on The Giver by Louis Lowry

When you read, do you think about the smaller characters actions? Do they seem unimportant or insignificant? I can tell you, they certainly aren’t. The Giver is about a community where everyone, or, mostly everyone, thinks the exact same way. The main character’s name is Jonas, but I’m going to be talking about his sister, Lily. In the book The Giver by Louis Lowry there is a character called Lily; she taught me that not everyone is exactly the same, no matter how much they are supposed to be, as well as teaching me about larger themes.


Lily does small things to defy the community. In this society they are very restricting the rules are put down strongly, and if they are broken, the consequences are harsh. Lily doesn’t always realize that she is doing something against the society, but still, she is going against the rules. A quote from the book that describes her small rebellious actions is: [Jonas] “He turned to Lily and noticed to his satisfaction that her ribbons, as usual, were undone and dangling.” In this book there are little rules that seem pretty insignificant but the society’s leaders still make them really important to the members of the community. The society makes small rules, like this demonstration with the importance of wearing ribbons, because they are proving that they have power over the peoples’ lives, even over the small decisions you and I should be able to make everyday. I think that Lily doesn’t always undo her ribbon consciously to defy the government but for her own comfort. She is old enough to understand thats she is breaking the rules even though she thinks it’s not a big deal, when really, small rebellious actions spur rebellions that eventually can overthrow the government. Lily isn’t the biggest character in the book but she is important because of her little rebellious actions.


Lily knows about growing up. She is in a rush to grow up and is excited about the future. Lily wants to grow up faster and Jonas is willing to help by teaching her how to bike. On page 13 Jonas is talking to his father and his father says that he taught his sister how to ride a bicycle before she legally could. Jonas was thinking: “…Jonas had been thinking about teaching Lily.” Lily is a very exciting and spontaneous sister but she is rushing her youth. I know it sounds like I’m 70 and wishing I was young again but Lily is excited about growing up… Which leads me to my next topic. A quote from Lily on page 21 makes it clear she is excited for her future: “I hope I get assigned to be a birthmother.” Lily thinks about the future and studies it. It is important that she studies it because she realizes that there is not one path in the future, it depends on choices. I think that her realizing that the future depends on choices shows Lily that if she defies the community, than her future might be more action packed as well as being more based on her choices than the community. Being excited about your future is good, but I don’t know how anyone could be in the community Lily lives in because her community is over sheltering e.g. they don’t have any true feelings, they are like robots. She shows and proves that no matter what she will keep being the same thrilling young girl. Lily has great excitement and curiosity about the future which shows her youth and personality; that most people in the society she lives in, don’t have. I think the author put Lily in the book because the author needs something to represent the small everyday rebellions going on in the book.

Lily has a personality that is different from everyone else in the community. Lily speaks her mind which nobody else does in the community because they are afraid that they will get in trouble. Is Lily not afraid of defying the society or is she unaware that she even is defying the society? On page 21 a direct quote from Lily representing her free mind is: “‘I think newchildren are so cute,’ Lily sighed. ‘I hope I get assigned to be a birthmother.’” After she says this her parents try to talk her out of wanting to be a birthmother because the job has no “honor”. But still throughout the book she speaks her mind. I think that Lily speaking her mind has taught me that no matter how much you wipe someone’s memory there will still be a little bit of what-they-would-have-been if they hadn’t been brainwashed. Lily is spontaneous in what she says, i.e. you will never see what’s coming. No matter how hard the community’s leaders try, I doubt they would ever be able to take away someone’s spirit. Everyone is different, no matter what. The leaders in the community might try to take away everything that makes people special, but tht will never happen. I also think the job of a little sister is to be an- well let’s just say an “interesting”- character. I think that Lily has a different personality that all of the characters in the book The Giver by Louis Lowry.


Even though Jonas is the main character, Lily struck me as an intelligent, thoughtful and exciting character. Lily taught me that you can do small things to defy the government and get away with it. In her community she has a “stand out” personality which makes her interesting to learn about. She has a good spirit and is excited about her future even though she lives in a terrible, controlling society. Lily taught me so many important things that I had to choose her for this character essay. I encourage everyone to read The Giver by Louis Lowry and continue to think what Lily taught you more personally. Did she say something meaningful you can relate to? Lily is wiser than she should be for her age… I suggest you read into what she has to say, than maybe you would learn some wisdom.


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