Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Giver by Lois Lowry This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Ever wonder? Wonder how many things we take for granted? Wonder what life would be like without the simple idea of color? Maybe there’s one thing you hate… or love. What if life as we knew it with war and peace, love and hate, joy and sorrow, red, yellow, green, and blue, just became a world of simple black and white. A world with no war or peace: hate or love? What would life be without love? These are questions we overlook every day. The Giver is a book where the reader really must think of these questions. While it sounds so appealing to have a world— a life— with complete equality and “sameness”; is it really what we, as human beings, want?

Upon reading the book, The Giver, one must pause… taking time to ponder the ideas implied in the story. A black and white world has not been heard of since a movie in the 1950’s, but what if it was a reality? We take so many things for granted. In the book it is considered abnormal when the main character begins to see the color red. In real life we see the color red every day, but what if it was completely removed from the light spectrum along with all the other beautiful colors we know of today? Life as we know it would become a world of dull, boring, “sameness”; even science as we know it would cease to exist. Though we would no longer be able to make fun of people who lack the ability to match their shirt to their shoes, where would we be as humans?
In The Giver every person is equal to the other. Everyone goes through the same sequence of ceremonies as they progress through life. Age (after twelve) is not recorded or remembered, as birthdays are not celebrated. Free will is unknown. In the world of these people there is an ever surrounding “sameness”—as the book calls it—that makes everyone the same: very few differences. This is sad. In our lives today it is our differences making us who we are, and at times we humans try too hard to conform to what the rest of the world considers to be normal, or popular. In creating a world of complete and utter “sameness” the people of the book eliminated some of the greatest joys of our lives today. Love, unconditionally, is an unmatchable phenomenon that can only be fulfilled when life contains conditions.
Love without conditions is subject to the one and only condition it is in, thus creating conditional love which is not love at all. We are able to love no matter the circumstances or conditions. It is this love that makes us human; we are not as the animals having no soul, but of a greater being with the ability to love. We must cherish this ability and thank the one who has given it to us, for a human life without love, is no life at all, but that of the life of an animal.
It may be perceived that Lois Lowry wrote such a book as The Giver to show us of this truth. No matter what we do to create equality—whether it be getting rid of colors, or eliminating love and hate—we must realize that in the end it is our differences making life worth living. A life of complete “sameness” is as a pack of animals all corresponding to the same call of the wild continuing on through generations of never ending “sameness.” This is not to be the life of a human being. We are equal in the way we all have the ability to choose who we want to be. Take this away and our lives become black and white: lacking in many ways. So as we proceed through life, will we conform to the life of others? Or will we use this gift of free will we have been so blessed with, to choose to love: no matter the conditions?



Join the Discussion


This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

SkyDeer said...
Nov. 21, 2010 at 6:22 pm:
I want to read this.
 
TravisJ This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 10:15 pm :
ya it's a pretty good book. has some interesting ideas behind it.... 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback