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Son
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Archive 08-19 GR Discussions > Son, by Lois Lowry, Classic Club discussion

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message 1: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Setting up this thread for our upcoming discussion of Book #4 in The Giver series. We are currently waiting for some members to get this book from their library, but this discussion should be starting sometime in November for anyone that wants to pick up a copy and join us! :-)


message 2: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments I'm in


Kasey | 98 comments I'm ready when the group is! :-)


Jennifer W | 2175 comments Whoohoo! My copy just arrived!


message 5: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Excellent! Let's get started then. Jennifer, do you want to throw out a simple schedule? How long do you have your copy for? I'll start reading tonight. Looks like the book is in two parts?


Jennifer W | 2175 comments My audio version has 3 parts. I have the book out for 3 weeks- 1 part per week?

All of Part 1 by 11/17
All of Part 2 by 11/24
All of Part 3 by 12/1


message 7: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
You are correct! There are three parts. "Before", "Between" and "Beyond". One part a week works for me. :-)

I just started reading a few pages last night. Looks like we are back in Jonas world, learning the story of a birth mother named Claire.


message 8: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments This novel is fabulous. I'm in.


Jennifer W | 2175 comments I listened to 2 chapters today. I have to ask the ever-present question: when is this happening compared to everything else? I assume, based on the part titles that this is "Before" Jonas becomes the Receiver, but I wonder if that's the sense everyone else gets, too?


message 10: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I thought it might be before Jonas, but now that I'm further in, I realize this is the same time as the original "Giver" book.


message 11: by Beth (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 163 comments It seems to be the same time as when The Giver was written. It is in that community. I'm curious to see if it ties all of the communities together or not.


Jennifer W | 2175 comments Sheila wrote: "I thought it might be before Jonas, but now that I'm further in, I realize this is the same time as the original "Giver" book."

Well this bums me out. I was already trying to formulate who the "son" was- Gabe or Jonas, but if it happens at the same time, probably neither...


Kasey | 98 comments I was hoping the same thing, Jennifer! I'm 2 chapters in so far.


message 14: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Okay, I've finished the first part. Will wait to say more till everyone else finishes. We do get some insights though. :-)


Jennifer W | 2175 comments I've still got a ways to go for part 1. I'm only through chapter 3. I should be caught up by Monday, though.


message 16: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments I am ready to discuss when you are. :)


message 17: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments I think we would be great detectives.


Jennifer W | 2175 comments Still behind! You all can start discussing part 1 if you like and I should be able to join in tomorrow or Weds at the latest!


Kasey | 98 comments I'm also ready. I really enjoyed the first part. I think The Giver and Son will be my favorites.


message 20: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
We can wait for you Jennifer! :-) Just let us know when you are ready. We have been reading all of these for months now so there is no rush. :-)


Jennifer W | 2175 comments I'm through chapter 9 of Part 1. So the baby is Gabe!!

What do you think of Claire's reassignment? How about how little she knew of pregnancy? Does it make sense that this society would keep the Vessels out of sight?


message 22: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments This society is like a factory. If a part doesn't fit then it must fit somewhere else. Emotions are what drives us to think and make choices. So for control, emotions are controled by medication. Is there anything similar in our society?


Jennifer W | 2175 comments TV- the opiate of the masses!

That makes me wonder, though, this section talked about the assigning of spouses. Then they have to wait 3 years to "have" children. What do they do in that time? They can't talk about the weather, that's controlled, they don't have pets, they don't read books, they don't have children, and they don't have sex! What the heck do they do?? Ugh, sounds awful!


message 24: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Yes, Claire's baby is Gabe! Loved that part. :-)

As to Claire's reassignment. I guess if she had a difficult birth then that is to be expected. The "factory farming" of all the vessel's pregnancies was a bit creepy. I guess since they were trying to keep their society so sterile and "prefect" it made sense to keep the vessels hidden away so nobody knew about their pregnancies. They wouldn't want any child to be associated with any birth mother, just to the parents they ended up being assigned to.

The whole assigning spouses thing is creepy, and you make a great point Jennifer. What did they do for 3 years? Just talk about their work and learn to cohabitate with someone?


Jennifer W | 2175 comments OK, I'm caught up! I was wondering if Claire had been taking the pills, as it seemed unlikely that she could feel. Turns out she was not.

What do you think of the ending of the first section? Was Gabe's "father" aware that Gabe was being released in The Giver? I thought he was, but if that was true, why wouldn't he tell Claire? He also seems greatly upset by this in this book, but I remember him being more accepting of it in The Giver.

Other thoughts on part 1?


message 26: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Jonas' father, the care giver at the nursery, did seem more bothered about Gabe being released in this book than in The Giver. I just pulled out my copy of the Giver, and he is really nonchalant in the scene where he tells his family, after Gabe is taken back to the nursery for a night and cries all night.

"So," father went on, "we obviously had to make the decision. Even I voted for Gabriel's release when we had the meeting this afternoon."..."It's bye-bye to you, Gabe, in the morning," Father had said, in his sweet, sing-song voice.

So was he faking it for his family?

I'm curious about the men on the boat. They seem very worldly. Who are they? What do they think of this community? Strange to see "outsiders" visiting.


message 27: by Kasey (last edited Nov 21, 2014 06:00PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kasey | 98 comments I don't even know what to think of Claire's reassignment.. Almost torture because of the parallels, with her handling fish and the comparisons she makes to her own pregnancy. I'm surprised and a little skeptical with how the whole scenario played out.. that they people in charge "forgot" to start requiring her to take pills again.. For such a highly controlled society, this lapse seems very unlikely.. I think it makes perfect sense that she didn't know much about pregnancy or reproduction. And why would she when everything is controlled and normal reproduction doesn't even occur? My question is.. what happened in that room that allowed her to be inseminated when she wasn't supposed to be??? Thinking about it now, it seems Lowry is bringing to light a lot of things that are going on in our society now, such as population control strategies and teen pregnancies... The Vessels are totally desired to be young. And I think it also makes sense to have the Vessels hidden from society.. because a society in which body size is controlled for in diet.. wouldn't understand why a young woman's stomach is swelling to the size of a beach ball - this would raise unwanted questions for the Council, so their solution is to just quarantine the Vessels and not allow them to discuss their "job" among each other..

As for emotions controlled by medication.. YES, definitely happens in our society today! Tons of people take medications for mood disorders. Granted, I personally believe medications for this purpose is warranted and somewhat effective, but it's something that needs to be closely monitored because sometimes people are over-medicated. I would say Lowry is stretching this in the Giver's society to the point that emotions are not to be managed (as medication in our society is supposed to do), but rather emotions are not to be felt at all.

Great question about the spouses!! I suppose they just eat, sleep, and work and talk to each other about their dreams each morning. lol And maybe volunteer at other places in the community if they are really bored. But if they don't feel emotions because they take the pills, maybe they never get bored to begin with....

I also thought that was interesting about Jonas' father and his reaction to Gabe, because he was much more upset in Son than portrayed in The Giver..

The men on the boat.... That whole scenario is lacking in plot development for me. It just doesn't make sense. How do people from outside come to the community and not see color, not have weather, etc. etc. and NOT say something? Like I would think that the boat men would comment on that kind of thing when they are delivering whatever they are delivering..

I really enjoyed the first section and was really intrigued by the overall premise. I'm curious to see how all the loose ends tie together in the end (or at least I hope Lowry ties up these loose ends!!). One thing that really irritated me was how this society kept referring to the babies as "products". Talk about depersonalization!!!

So what is it about Claire that has caused a light-eyed baby with special abilities to be born?? Is it her, or the sperm donor??


Jennifer W | 2175 comments Kasey, I thought of the parallels of raising fish young versus her own, too. I think I believe the explanation of the pills because Claire was so quiet and hidden. I think if she'd been more obvious about it (like Jonas was in The Giver), they'd have caught on.

I think she was inseminated exactly when she was supposed to be, they just had to come up with an explanation why it didn't work. Kasey, you bring up a *fabulous* point I hadn't considered- who are the donors?? I'm sure they don't call it that in the sterilized society. Can you imagine being a 12 year old boy called up on stage and told "Sperm Donor"? LOL

I'm not sure about the boat people, too. Though maybe other worlds are just as bizarre. It doesn't seem like they mingle much with the people they visit. What are they bringing? Or taking?


Kasey | 98 comments I guess I thought Claire was prematurely inseminated was because someone else from her age group was not inseminated as soon as Claire was. And it seems atypical for the council to actually admit to a legit mistake. And her examiner seemed rushed. So I wonder what went wrong exactly with the delivery and if it had anything to do with the fact that Gabe would be light-eyed and presumably "gifted" in some way... but yes! What of the donors?!? Also why does each "vessel" get to deliver "3" products? Everything else seems to come in neat and even terms. 3 seems odd to me. I guess if each vessel delivers a product each year and they start when they are 14, then they will be done by the time they are 17-18! Crazy! And what, does the donor get to do his job for life??? Hmmm...

As for the boat people.. I'm unsure. I always thought it was hard to imagine this community to be completely self-sustaining, so it makes sense that other people might be bringing goods. But it seems these boat people are related somehow to the Hatchery..


message 30: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I was under the impression that Claire had some physical condition (small pelvis or something) that the doctor was supposed to have noticed and not inseminated her, something that prevented her from delivering her baby. I'm not sure though.

As to Gabe being light eyed and gifted...hmm. So who is the sperm donor? Do they use sperm from The Giver? They must have certain specific people that they use as sperm donors as everyone else takes the pills.

The boat people seem like normal people from a regular society who this community purchases supplies from. They deliver the goods on the river via the boat. But do they not think this community is really weird? And what of the not seeing color thing? Or is it the pills that keep the people from seeing color? Is it really just a weird, controlled community where all the people are drugged and kept under control? Like a commune? Maybe a lot smaller than I was originally picturing it as being?


message 31: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments I don't think she was ready for child birth.


message 32: by Jennifer W (last edited Nov 23, 2014 07:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer W | 2175 comments I think the whole community has lost the ability to see color. I don't think the pills control it. Otherwise, little children would mention that they lose the ability once they start taking the pills. I don't know how to explain the color thing. Jonas was surprised by it in The Giver. He was selected because he could "see beyond", right? I dunno how else to explain it.


message 33: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
So are they color blind through inbreeding? And Jonas was a mutation, or throw back, or something?


Jennifer W | 2175 comments Isn't Lowry a goodreads author? We should ask her!


Kasey | 98 comments Interesting to consider that maybe Claire had a small pelvis or something. I just thought it was because she was so young.

And I definitely would've thought that the boat people would think that this community is odd! I agree, perhaps the community is smaller than I originally thought. I mean each person only has a first name and there at no duplicates of names... And it seems like they have pretty standard names. That makes me think the community might be relatively small. Hmmm..

Jennifer - great explanation about the color phenomenon. I think you are right. So maybe it is a genetic mutation?!


message 36: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments What themes are in this novel? The people on the boat led a very different live from what Claire was accustomed.


message 37: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments Where does the author get these extreme situations? Climb a cliff? Really?


Jennifer W | 2175 comments So, not surprisingly, I'm behind. I read chapters 1 and 2 of Part 2 the other day while I was cleaning for Thanksgiving prep, but then got too busy for more. I hope to listen more tonight when I'm fighting the leftovers' food coma, but we'll see.

Back to the color question: now that Claire has left, is she seeing color? I believe someone in her new community mentioned she has red hair, can she see it now? With her memory wiped clean, she may not remember that she's not supposed to see color.


message 39: by Sibaprasad (new)

Sibaprasad Dutta | 25 comments Jennifer W wrote: "So, not surprisingly, I'm behind. I read chapters 1 and 2 of Part 2 the other day while I was cleaning for Thanksgiving prep, but then got too busy for more. I hope to listen more tonight when I'm ..."

Merry thanksgiving!


message 40: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
No worries, Jennifer. Let us know when you get part 2 done, and we will discuss then. I'm in no rush. :-)

I did just finish part 2, so I'm ready when ever everyone else is.

The color part is confusing. Yes, it appears that Claire could not see color previously, but now can see color. Not sure why this ability is able to come and go? Apparently it is not a genetic color blindness then.


Petra I've been following this discussion but not participating because I read the books so long ago. Here are my thoughts on the colour issue. There are no spoilers, I thought I'd put the tags here, just in case, since I haven't been participating and you might not want my input.
Isn't this a good series, though? There's a lot that can be read between the lines.

(view spoiler)


message 42: by Sibaprasad (new)

Sibaprasad Dutta | 25 comments I cannot take part in the discussion, as the book has not yet arrived. Hope to get it soon.


Kasey | 98 comments The color part doesn't make sense. Unless the community Claire is from is like a controlled-environment community.. Thinking something along the lines of the "Arenas" in the Hunger Games' novels.

Petra, I enjoyed your explanation of the color phenomenon! Perhaps that IS is?! Please don't hesitate to add to the discussion in the future! :-)


message 44: by Irene Del (new) - added it

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments Kasey wrote: "The color part doesn't make sense. Unless the community Claire is from is like a controlled-environment community.. Thinking something along the lines of the "Arenas" in the Hunger Games' novels.
..."

The community were Claire came from was colorless.


message 45: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Interesting thoughts on the color thing, Petra. Please do chime in with any input on all of this!


Petra Thank you! I have to say that I miss participating on our group reads. I really enjoy reading books with you all.
I'm very glad that you're all enjoying this series so much. I almost gave up after The Giver (was disappointed in the ending, which I read to mean that the two boys died) but when I found out there was a series, I realized I must have been mistaken and read the rest. Truly liked them all.


Jennifer W | 2175 comments I like your thoughts on color, too, Petra.

So I think I took on too much this month. I likely will not finish this book in the next 2 days and then my computer will return it for me (blast electronic library downloads!). I will try to get it again as soon as I can, but I don't know when that will be, so *really* ladies, go ahead and keep reading and discussing. I will chime in at my earliest ability to do so.


message 48: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Are you going to be able to get section 2 done Jennifer?


Jennifer W | 2175 comments Nope, computer returned it already on me. I've put in a hold at the library for a "real" copy, I think it should arrive in the next few days.

Sorry about this everyone, November got busier than I thought it would!


message 50: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
No need to apologize, Jennifer! :-) I am happy to wait for you to get another copy. It is not like we all don't have tons of other books we can read while we wait. LOL


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