My Critiquing Opinionatedness: The Giver (Book)

(Plot)

Jonas lives in the futuristic world of Sameness, where color is too individualistic to be real, weather is controlled to perfection, comprehension of emotions require specification into more simplistic verbs, and people’s lives are predetermined and designated by a special committee. Reality, as we know it now, is but a distant memory.

During the auspicious Ceremony of Twelve, when children are assigned what they are to become for the remainder of their lives, Jonas gets selected to become successor to the Receiver of Memory (who then becomes the Giver), the one person in the Community who holds life’s secret memories. Under his training and tutelage, Jonas learns that life should hold more to it than what has been the norm over the years. With now-open eyes, he sees the “wrongness” of their picture-perfect world, and with this realization in mind and in heart, Jonas embarks on a journey of rediscovering the life that should have been, the life that is actually worth living.

(Review)

The Giver definitely proves to be one of the greatest coming-of-age stories of its time. It gives new meaning to the word “soul”, and it will satisfy you at a different, mature level. I actually believe that it is rather human of Lowry to have recreated such an unfolding of a life, ironically towards our present (which is their past), through the innocence of a small child, who is then forced into maturity so early in life in order to save that which he holds so dear, and pursue what his heart dictates as right.

For her writing, Lowry sometimes overanalyzes the situations presented in the story, which could leave her readers somewhat bored, and forget about the actual gist of the scene. However, the idea of this brand new world (which I still find utterly ingenious), is so enticing and piquing, that one would still continue to read on to continue exploring how this particular world, and all its wonders, is actually like.

The book also leaves more questions unanswered than conclusions. Readers can only make up their own theories about what happened after the book, leading me to the notion that the ending was rushed, unless it was the author’s intention to essentially and purposefully leave her readers hanging like that or what have you. For whatever reasons they may be, though, I find this to be an unsuccessful conclusion to a great build-up of eventful accounts. I can’t help but feel, much to my dismay, that the gradual swell of emotions this book brings forth along with its chapters fell quite flat, and the breathlessness it causes subsided rather quickly and insipidly.

Regardless of its finale, however, I still hold the rest of the book in high regard, and recommend it to young adults, as well as for mature adults, who may be feeling lost in life. The values and lessons this book instill will provide a better perspective on anyone’s present life. I sense, however, that some parts this book illustrates to the imagination may be a tad bit morbid for very young children, and might possibly leave them dazed and depressed. Let them live a little first, I say.

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~ by iamnotfrodo on October 17, 2005.

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