Lena's Reviews > The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry
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Aug 29, 07

Recommended for: Everyone
Read in August, 2007

This was an excellent book, but also very hard to read and very disturbing. The first half is like a science fiction novel about a utopian society. But the second half really gets into the emotional consequences of that society. In that way it is similar to Logan's Run, which was turned into a movie.

The point of the book, I think, was about the consequences of taking away pain, suffering and war by taking away individual choice. And the snowfall effect of taking away choice is that you have to take away emotion as well.

I do not think I have ever cried when I have read a book, until now. And believe me I cried very hard, especially concerning the twin that was "Released" as well as the ending.

I know that a lot of students (including my nephew) are reading this book in school. I have mixed feelings about that because I think it is good for them to think about the freedom of choice, but the emotion and pain in the book might be too much for young people. I mean, after I finished reading it, I was a mess, very disturbed, so I don't know how a 10 or 11 year old would deal with the sad things that happen.

But I do recommend this book to every adult, because it really makes you appreciate the freedoms we have, even though those freedoms can cause a lot of pain in our lives. But as Jonas the main character realizes, the pain is worth it.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Lisa Gremore I will look for Logan's Run, thanks :)

Stefanie Del When I finished reading it, I bawled my eyes out. This was the first time I cried EVER over a book! You said you didn't know how a 10 or 11 year old would handle it, we'll, here you go, I'm 11.

Jahmila H I agree that this is an excellent book and even though it can be a little difficult to read, once you realize the message, it is truly worth it all. Its amazing how Louis Lowry was able to fit such a powerful message in only 179 pages. When you stated "And the snowfall effect of taking away choice is that you have to take away emotion as well." is one of the main messages but not the only one. I think another message is how much society controls our lives. In the book, today's problem with society is just exaggerated. We live our day to day lives not only in the eye of a judgmental society but having to make decisions constantly. The Establishment told adolescents what they could be and what they couldn't be. When you no longer have the ability to decide for yourself, how much freedom do you really have?

Another message is how one has to experience suffering to understand true happiness. When the citizens enter the System, they then become 'puppets' controlled by the elders. Their reasoning is that if they make the decision for you, that they are certain is correct, than you won't have the chance to make the wrong decision. Though its important for people to make their own wrong decisions so they learn from them and become wiser.

When Jonas receives the job of The Giver he also receives the pains and burdens of the memories. Jonas now realizes that the happiness that everyone else feels is artificial. Jonas always felt as though he was missing something in his life and now knowing that what it was, he sees the emptiness in everyone else.

Cecelia I highly doubt I would've understood everything in this book if I'd read it at the age of eleven.

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