Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Thoughts on Lois Lowry's The Giver #Review


Warning: Potential spoilers

This is the book that will make you very thankful for everything you experience, for everything you have, in life. The pleasure, the happiness, along with the pain and suffering.

What would life be like if everyone and everything were the same? The "sameness" in The Giver means there are none of the things I love...books, pets, holidays (Christmas), individuality, solitude, and the one thing which made me sob amidst the pages...family. Yes, there are "family units," but the parents are no longer involved in the lives of their children once they are grown. So, no grandparents being able to share the love of grandchildren. I can't even fathom it. I can't imagine my parents not being present in my whole life.

The Giver makes you think about what we sacrifice for sameness. Do we want to live in a society with no color, no individual freedoms? A society free of hunger, war, pain, yes...but at what cost? Never knowing joy, or true feelings of love for a child, or a significant other. This is a Dystopian society which seems not so bad, perhaps even ideal, on the surface, but the implications are far more concerning.

Once again, I saw the film (several years back) before reading this, and once again, the book is better. In Lowry's introduction, she mentioned receiving letters/emails from people stating the book was life changing. It is that. This is a book which needs to be picked up every so often to remind us of how precious our freedoms, and the lives we lead, really are, and to hold on to them at all cost.

Book One in The Giver Quartet

Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce new children, who is assigned to appropriate family units; one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. Then community is a precisely choreographed world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, injustice.. or choice.

Everyone is the same.
Except Jonas.

At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community's twelve-year-olds eagerly accept their predetermined Life Assignments. But Jonas is chosen for something special. He begins instruction in his life's work with a mysterious old man known only as The Giver. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test - when he must try to save someone he loves - he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?



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2 comments:

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  1. This sounds like a wonderfully thought provoking book.

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  2. It's been a few years since I read this one but I remember not liking it for some reason! Maybe I was all dystopia fictioned out. I'll have to do a re-read. Maybe read it with my son aloud and we can discuss it together.

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