The Giver

March 29, 2009
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Have you ever felt that your life was unstable, not only for yourself but for those who surrounded you? Have you wished for people to be more considerate, polite human beings? Did you ever desire world peace, or stringent birth control? Has a place with little change in the climate, such as Hawaii, appealed to you? If you responded ‘yes' to any of these questions, then I would recommend the beautifully written novel, and recipient of the 1994 Newbery Award: The Giver.
This book introduces a fictional place called the Community, where the climate never changes, all of the people are perfectly polite, and everything is always under control. Children are also assigned their jobs for life at the Ceremony of Twelve and people are mysteriously ‘released' into Elsewhere. Thanks to a courageous twelve year old named Jonas, the secrets of the Community are revealed through his own personal struggles.

Jonas is assigned a very peculiar job that little has been said about: The Receiver of Memories, the most honored position in the Community. However, when he meets his trainer, he knows his job will be a challenge. His trainer, called The Giver, transmits memories of the past from himself into Jonas, but the memories were not his own…they belonged to the people of The Community long ago, before all was structured. Jonas quickly learns what life was like when people could make their own choices, when weather was altered, and, most importantly, when you could feel the emotion of love. Some memories have pleasant sensations, others are painful and full of war and sorrow, but Jonas realizes the faults of his Community through these memories-and is determined to change their perspective.

This book contains so many powerful messages, and although fictional, many are true to reality. Being a perfectionist myself, the Community didn't seem like a bad place to me until I realized what would be lost in the world if perfection was achieved-freedom of speech, emotions of all kinds, personal memories, and many more precious things. Each chapter seemed like a convincing persuasive narrative to enjoy life as it is. It also proved the safest way isn't always the best choice, for without errors, life would truly be mundane and colorless.

Next time you find bad memories plaguing you, or feel let down by life, pick up a copy of The Giver and discover the faults of perfection-you might even change your point of view on the gift of life itself.





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wrtrgirl4ever said...
Apr. 3, 2009 at 8:00 pm
I read The Giver last summer and thought it was amazing. The book really is an eye-opener. Though the book could be perceived as having a few morals all bound within the same book, you did an excellent job of explaining one of them and summerizing the plot.
 
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