In 1993, Lois Lowry published his dystopian young adult fiction novel, The Giver. The novel originally looks Utopian, but when you go into further detail, you will find it to be dystopian. The Giver sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
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Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: Dystopian young adult fiction, Science fiction
Good reads rating: 4.13/5
My Ratings: 8.0/10
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
For The Latest Price: The Giver
***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***
A 12-year-old boy, Jonas lives in a place where every person received an assigned role. Now that Jonas’s 12th ceremony is approaching, he becomes worried that he may receive his dedicated life task. Jonas asked help from his dad, a nurturer who is not his biological father and tells him that adults who assign careers to children are always right. Finally, the ceremony happens and Jonas is lined with his classmates in order of their birth dates. Chief Elder presides the ceremony while the whole community is present. During Jonas’s turn, he receives an abnormal assignment and is also selected as the next Receiver of Memory. Jonas will be trained by the current receiver of memory to achieve his task.
Since Jonas’s position presents a high status as well as the responsibility that distances him from his friends, Ashar and Fiona, and other classmates. The rules of his task prevent him from playing with his friends to protect him from sharing the training secrets with outsiders. He also needs to lie to his family to hide his feelings from everyone. Jonas carries the burden of memories from all of history. He also receives permission to read the books beyond school and rulebooks. The current receiver of memory calls himself the Giver and starts his process of sharing memories with Jonas.
The first memory which Jonas receives involves sliding down a snow-covered hill using a sled. Jonas became afraid because he never slid before in his life and the Giver shows Jonas a rainbow. He also provides Jonas with the memories of hunger as well as war, things unknown to the boy. When the Giver issues him with his memories, he presents him a memory of his trainee, Rosemary, but without discussing any more details about her. While getting memories, Jonas finds out that his father, the nurturer, basically kill the infants who are unable to perform tasks. Jonas gets devastated and refuses to go back home. Giver explains to him that without memories the people of the community do not know they are doing wrong things. He tells Jonas that Rosemary was also unable to endure dark memories and killed herself. Giver and Jonas come to an understanding that the time is right for Jonas to leave the community and allow the memories to return to every person.
Jonas asks the Giver to leave the community with him. But the Giver explains that he would need to help people who received their memories back or they may be destroyed. Later in the story, the Giver plans to die and join Rosemary. The Giver gives Jonas a plan to run away from the community and promises to tell people that he drowned in the river. The plan changes when Jonas discovers that another infant will be released or killed in the morning and escapes with that infant. Jonas and the infant reaches ‘Elsewhere’ and the first time in his life he sees a sled waiting for him on top of a snowy hill. He also listens to music in a nearby house. The future of Jonas and that infant, however, are unexplained in the book.
In 2009, during a National Book Festival, the author Lois Lowry jokingly stated that Jonas is still alive that created hype with the followers. The novel deserves my rating of 7.7/10 because of its storyline. I would highly recommend this novel to people who enjoy young adult fiction. Would I re-read this novel? Yes. Am I glad I read it? Yes.
For The Latest Price: The Giver
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