Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Giver

Has anyone out there read this book? I have to write a 7-9 page paper, defining young adult literature, as demonstrated in three books by the same author. Therefore, I chose to write about The Giver, Gathering Blue and The Messenger, by Lois Lowry.

The Giver was so life changing that when I was only about half way through and I was telling Harold about it, that I started bawling. There are so many gospel messages in this book. This is the kind of literature I want my children to read, the kind that will open their eyes, help them to appreciate life with all of its ups and downs. Good literature should illuminate the human condition and stretch your mind and your soul. The Giver did that for me. It was a beautiful book, absolutely beautiful.

Brief Synopsis: Jonas is an almost 12-year-old boy living in a utopian society where no one lies and everything in life is decided for you. Everything is peaceful and beautiful. When he turns 12 Jonas will receive his assignment, the job he will do for the rest of his life. He is chosen to be the Receiver of Memory, from the Giver of Memory. Jonas will learn everything about color, weather, history, emotions, war, etc. When he discovers these truths, his life will never be the same.

Go buy it or borrow it, but just read it. Then tell me what you thought.


mom/Janet said...

I'm going to get the book and read it. I'm not a huge reader. (only when I fly and vacation) something about your description intrigues me and I need something uplifting and positive to read. I'll let you know.

Collette said...

I love this book! When I was in middle school my homeroom teacher read it to us. Then I read it again on my own sometime (I don't remember when).
Such an interesting topic. I should read it again to get a different perspective. I just remember that I enjoyed it.

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

I first heard about and read “The Giver” when Brien was in middle school. His language arts teacher had assigned the class to read it and to do a big project on it. Brien has always had difficulty with reading comprehension and so I would read the books at the same time so that I could monitor his progress and make sure he was understanding what he was reading.
Sometimes the books assigned were kind of a drag but that was not the case with this book. I too was profoundly affected by what I read and the different Gospel parallels. This is probably one of the most poignant books I’ve ever read. When it was Wes’ turn for this book, I read it again with him because it was so awesome. I’m surprised that it is not more widely recommended for adults. It perfectly illustrates what it would be like to live in a perfect world, highlighting both the advantages and the disadvantages. In an imperfect world there is pain, deception, confusion and outright hatred. But there is also love and knowledge and experience.
Lowry subtly creates an uneasy feeling that something is wrong with this "perfect world." The Community's advisors intend to establish security within utopian society, but they really establish a stifling dystopia. To protect people from the risks of making poor or wrong decisions in life, the advisors plan and dictate the lives of the people. Isn’t that exactly what Satan proposed for us.
In effect, the citizens have no freedom of choice; they do not choose their job or even their spouse. Moreover, the advisors inhibit the people's ability to feel because they want to spare them from the hardships and pain of life. For instance, individuals must take a pill everyday, which suppresses passionate feelings. The citizens do not know or experience true emotions like love. One of the goals of the Community is to achieve "sameness" so that no one feels embarrassed or gets excluded for being different. As much as I would like to be rid of many of the things that make me “different” the trade off would not be worth it.

Juliew8 said...

I read it for Book Club last year. It was so amazing I want to read the other two. Even my nephew Austin read it and really liked it, we had a good discussion about it. Some of the ladies in my club didn't like it because it wasn't a feel good book, there are some interesting ladies in my ward to say the least. Anyway it really did change my perspective on life and made me think a lot.

Katie and Gary said...

I'm sold. I am headed to to the library now. :)