Book Review: The Giver
Imagine a life with no color. No emotions, no art, no entertainment. A world where everything is controlled, from climate to population, from the food you eat to the words you speak.
Jonas doesn’t have to.
Lois Lowry’s The Giver features a dystopian world from the eyes of Jonas, a twelve-year-old about to start life as an adult contributing to their society. Jonas lives in a Community, one of many others, where everything is planned, precise, and pale.
In this Community, everyone knows the story of the world that used to be, which was destroyed by the previous human race. In the Community, everyone lives in identical cubic houses, eating identical square meals, riding identical white bikes. The Community values Sameness above all else, as the opposite had brought destruction to their world.
Annually, the Twelves are assigned their jobs in a special ceremony. But Jonas was given a task vastly different from the rest—Receiver of Memory. Considered a prestigious honor, the Receiver is tasked to receive and hold all the memories from their past and give counsel to the Elders should the need arise.
As Receiver Jonas learns of different things: colors, music, art, love, war, and pain. He also learns that these things should be returned to the people.
The Giver delves into the importance of varying human experiences. It celebrates the uniqueness of life by showing what the world would be like when all humans are the same. More than that, it allows us to marvel at the simple things in life, such as different colors and different climates, by letting us peek in the mind of someone seeing it for the first time.
While the novel does not rival its more modern counterparts in terms of drama, action, and thrill, her precise and simple storytelling made for an enthralling adventure. With The Giver, Lowry manages to show her readers the value of both good and bad life experiences.
Paula Apolonio, a book worm and theater enthusiast, she hopes to one day pen an international bestseller.
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