The Giver - Book Review

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In her book ‘The Giver’, Lois Lowry has created a futuristic utopian community where there are no feelings, no choices and Sameness prevails. Sameness, as the name suggests, is the idea that all aspects of life are almost invariably the same for all community members and life itself has no choices; everything is dictated, from what to wear and who to marry, to how one is required to act and the number of offspring. There exist no colours; the community sees in black and white and hues of grey. Because everything is controlled and regulated and nobody has a say in matters except the Committee of Elders who decide all, the community has no problems that would be reminiscent of the world today: prejudice, competition, rivalry, social stigmas, et cetera. "How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made." (Ch. 6)

The story is told through Jonas’ point of view throughout, and gives us an insight to his feelings and thoughts as the plot progresses. Jonas comes from a family of four: his father is a Nurturer who takes care of infants, his mother a member of the Department of Justice and his sister, who is seven. In the community, families too, like all other things, are assigned and the child is separated from the Birthmother at birth. The plot develops when Jonas, at age twelve is assigned the esteemed role of the Receiver of Memory. Memory is one of the chief themes of the book; it talks about the change in perception Jonas develops towards his seemingly perfect society once he receives memories from the Giver. The Giver is the sole owner of all the memories of the past, so as to rid the community itself of all the emotional baggage associated with emotions, and Jonas has been chosen as the next in line to bear the burden. Jonas receives memories from the Giver when the Giver places his hands on his back. The first memory Jonas receives is of a thrilling sled ride and this is the first time Jonas feels...
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