The Community trades nuclear energy for food and raw materials with the outside world.Since their technologies are generally more advanced than the First World of the 20th century, It's possible to conclude the creator of the Community is a technocratic utopian group. Something such as a world war or a massive natural disaster happened globally after they secluded themselves, so no one have the spare time or guts to invade them.
There are "Birthmothers," but no "Birthfathers" . . .Because the male Elders father the children. The old-fashioned way. They're the leaders—why should they bother to suppress the "stirrings"? They can probably justify it to themselves because their superior Elder genes should be passed on to future generations. The female Elders, on the other hand, don't want to be waddling around for nine months, so they either take the pills or use birth control.
The Giver is the biological father of all children with pale eyes.He's a sperm donor, like other men in the Community, and his seed is "sown" at regular intervals over the years so that there's always at least one apt Receiver - not all potential Receivers might start Seeing Beyond, for instance, and one child might die before reaching the age of eleven. That's how they inherited the pale eyes and the capacity for receiving memory. The Giver knows this, and knows this is how it's been done, back and back and back; the children have no idea.
The Giver takes place in the Firefly Universe.This particular planet was an Alliance experiment in progress - constantly monitored with a drugged populace, and no contact with the outside world, much like Miranda. Only this time, with more careful application of the drugs, and genetic engineering, things go much more smoothly. Being a Reader like River was deliberately tied to having pale eyes, so the Giver and Jonas (and Gabe) are Readers who have taken their telepathy to a highly specialized, but powerful level.
The Giver takes place in the Discworld universe, possibly a secluded corner of the Disc itself.The Auditors of the Universe demand balance for everything, and The Community exists to balance out Ankh-Morpork, which wallows in human nature. Literally. Thus, the Community is everything bustling, colorful, creative, smelly Ankh-Morpork isn't.
The book is an allegory for the Garden of Eden story.The people live in a utopian society, with no pain, lust, hunger etc. Yet a supposedly good man kills a baby cheerfully. They key point is that what they lack, and what Jonas tries to give them, is *knowledge of good and evil*. This knowledge would make their society impossible, hence evicting them from the garden. (There is even an apple which plays a role in Jonas acquiring the knowledge which he tries to pass on - implying he is Eve rather than Satan.) I actually have Word of God (via e-mail) on this - she said something like 'an interesting idea, I haven't heard that one before.' But due to Death of the Author, we don't have to care about that.
Birthmothers aren't really necessary.As stated on the main page, the community's methods of population control are not viable in the long term. So they must be capable of developing new life artificially. They only give birth to some babies the old fashioned way because people still remember how it used to be done, and might ask questions if that changed. It's possible that the only girls who are assigned to be Birthmothers are the ones who might otherwise rebel. If their years of pampering don't keep them quiet, they will be physically unable to cause much trouble during their pregnancies. Then they are reassigned as Laborers, which presumably keeps them isolated from the rest of the Community.
Gabriel has a developmental delay.It explains why he couldn't learn things as quickly as the other newchildren. However, it makes the community's plans to "release" him for being so delayed all the more tragic.
The World of The Giver Is Our world.The only difference is the existance of a single "country"note . To the outside, it's just another third word countrynote . The Elders make sure everyone thinks of it that way.
The population has for the most part lost the ability to see color due to genetic manipulation of the rods and cones in their eyes.In the eye, the cones allow color to be seen, while rods only show things in black and white. Perhaps the genetic scientists had, over generations, prevented the cones from fully functioning so that seeing color is not an option. In some individuals, as a recessive gene, the cones aren't fully disabled, and they begin to reactivate over time. The receiving of memories just helps it along.
At the end, Jonas has gone back in time and created a time loop.The memories started out as memories of real people. At some point during his journey, Jonas is transported to a time before the communities. He then experiences the sled ride, and, knowing something of what will happen in the future, finds someone with pale eyes and trains that person to receive memories. Others eventually add their own memories until the time when the communities are created. At that point, one or more of these people present themselves and are given the position that the Giver will have at the time the book takes place.
The book takes place in the present dayIt is possible that it takes place in some seceded part of the world, and nobody knows it. This explains the plane at the beginning of the book, as well as the flier's release.
Anthem takes place in the community after Jonas leavesThink about it, both stories feature a "utopia" that uses regulated names and careers to decide which people will do jobs best suited for them and end ambiguously with a character escaping and finding somewhere new to live (although the giver is far more ambiguous at a glance, the logbook style writing of anthem leaves open whether or not Prometheus actually succeeded or if he lived up to his name and was killed) After he leaves, the government becomes more strict, and changes certain things, completely eradicating the giver and receiver careers, and replacing the birth mother career with an annual mating ceremony.
At the end of the novel, Jonas collapses out of unconsiousness, and is discovered by a community from ElsewhereThe hill that Jonas found was the hill that the town children played on, and by mistake one child accidently left their sled there that afternoon. After sliding down it, Jonas's consciousness finally gives way, and the lights of the town at night mix with the memories of Christmas. After seeing their collapsed bodies on the street, the family which the sled belonged to took him and Gabriel in.
The book takes place in an alternate universe's present-day Canada.In this alternate universe, Canada shut off the rest of the world to defect to Sameness. While more modern memories are said to have taken place hundreds of years ago, these are simply false memories that whoever rules the "country" has implanted even into the Receiver/Giver's mind. At the end of the book, when Jonas and Gabe collapse on the hill, they are found by a caroling family from Detroit/Seattle/Buffalo, and are taken in by them.