**spoiler alert** I read this book again recently. I still love it. I partially read it because there is a movie coming out soon and I wanted a refres...more**spoiler alert** I read this book again recently. I still love it. I partially read it because there is a movie coming out soon and I wanted a refresher (which is probably a mistake, but I did it anyway). I partially read it because a dear friend had an extra copy and gave it to me. I mostly read it because I had heard a terrible thing about the ending.
I recently read in some reviews of The Giver that some interpret the ending with Jonas and Gabriel dying. My first reaction was, "What horseshit." I found the last few pages online and read through them again. Not satisfied, when I was given the book, I decided it needed another read to really understand this interpretation.
At this point, I understand that Lowry left it (and despite later works, continues to leave it) open to interpretation. As I read and then finished the book, my mind still leaves it with the optimistic view of Jonas and Gabriel's survival and finding Elsewhere. I can certainly see how one might view it otherwise, but I just can't see the book ending that way. It doesn't feel right to me.
Originally, I would have argued that anyone seeing an ending in death was incredibly pessimistic and possibly very sad. However, I read one review in which the reader thought that the ending was their death, but still saw it as a positive outcome: at least Jonas left to keep his humanity and allowed the Giver to assist the community in finding their way through their lost memories. I think there is something to that, but it still makes me incredibly sad.
I'm sure part of me wants to think the best for Jonas and Gabriel because I've grown to love Jonas and his unwavering insistence on living as fully as possible once he discovers the truth about the way things are. I don't want that kid to die and I don't really want to imagine (or live in) a world in which he would. I'm sure that is a little naive, but I don't think it's unwarranted.
All in all, I was just as happy with the second reading as I was with the first. It's a wonderful story with some great ideas and lessons, regardless of how you think it ends.(less)