Whitney 's Reviews > The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry
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Sep 24, 11

bookshelves: young-adult
Read on September 23, 2011

Jonas lives in a world of Sameness. There is nothing to differentiate one person by the other, everything is seen in black ad white with each year relinquishing a little of the individuality you possessed, following like a group of Lemmings. At your 12th year, you are given your assignment, and begin your training to contribute to the community. Jonas is given the responsibility of Receiver, the holder of all the world's memories before Sameness came into being. Jonas learns the burden of carrying around thoughts of war and starvation, but understands the benefits of things like colors, and sled rides. Soon he learns due to others oblivion he will always be an outsider with his new found wisdom and wonders how long he can last.

"For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo."

And so the story ends, with the question of, was this Jonas' death or his savior? Does Jonas make it to Elsewhere or is it only a dream? There are many themes throughout The Giver, but I think the most obvious and stand out is what if? This society is so closed-minded that it is hard to fathom their inability to learn and look beyond to the bigger picture rather than just their sector. What if such a mask was to occur and wipe to a clean slate? True, we could do away with so much hate and hardship but is the risk worth it, or is it better to learn from our mistakes? That's the question I believe Lowry is asking.

This was one of my favorite books growing up, I think because it was unlike anything I had read before. Even now, 10+ years later it leaves as just as large an impression. Perhaps The Giver is like a bottle of good wine, it just gets better with age.
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