This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
The container is the one who provides the servlet with reference to request and response objects it creates. so, obviously the container will have a reference to the response object, until the response is completely written to the client. Then both request and response may be GC-ed.