The story takes place in a fully-controlled society, where everything is pre-established, and nothing is left to chance. Emotions like love or pain are gone, no longer remembered, and human instincts, like desire, are appeased. People do not know colors, fear, risk, or even atmospheric changes. Everything is firm and pre-established by a "Community" that controls everyone's life. As soon as a child is born, they are observed for some time. If they are considered too weak, they are "released,” made to fall asleep so as not to wake up again. Then, there is the assignment of the child’s name and the family unit to which they will belong.
There is no individual difference; everyone grows in the same way as the others. At one year, babies become one, then two, then three, and so on. Every year, there is a ceremony during which children officially become one year older. At every age, they receive something, such as a soft toy for the little ones or a bicycle for the older ones. When a child turns twelve, however, they are assigned the work they will do for the rest of their lives. This is what happens to Jonas, the protagonist. But he receives an important task: that of becoming the “receiver of the memory” of humanity. This means that everything that others do not know, such as cold, heat, pain, etc., will be taught to Jonas by his predecessor, known as "the Giver." The Giver, now old and tired, transmits memories of mankind to Jonas: snow, rain, the burning sun, but also war, fear, and death. Many of these memories are painful, causing physical pain. Jonas, therefore, begins to change his way of seeing the world and society, which has always been his home. Now, this world no longer appears to him as before.