Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Giver Review

Lois Lowry's profoundly prophetic novel, The Giver, tells of a bland future society. In this world, Jonas, a young boy, is selected to become the new Receiver of Memory at the annual Ceremony, where children of the age twelve are assigned to occupations.

Although I have read this book twice before, I always find new, deeper meanings.

This time around, the harsh, controlling society stood out in my thoughts. The people in this novel had basically no freedoms.

From birth, citizens learned what was "polite" and "rude" and made formal apologies for any comments or deeds that caused discomfort or brought attention to differences. They dressed the same and lived in the same houses. Food was delivered at set times. All children born in a year officially aged at an annual Ceremony.

The Elders choose occupations for each individual. Couples had to apply for children, up to one boy and one girl per "family unit".

In this strange world, only the Giver and Jonas, the new Receiver, truly have feelings. Jonas suffers under the weight of all the memories of the history of the world. This is the society's solution to keep from repeating history.

However, Jonas and the Giver realize that their peers are missing out on so much. Their plan to release the memories back to the masses goes defunct when Jonas makes the life or death decision to save a small baby from the inhumane procedure of Release.

Ms. Lowry's book truly showed that a true "Utopia" is can only be reached outside the society's "perfect" boundaries.

No comments: