The giver book review essay

The giver book review essay

The Giver Book Review Essay

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I. Setting: In an isolated Arcadian community at an unknown time in the future

II. Characters and Commentary:

A. Jonas – The eleven year old protagonist (turns twelve at a point) who has “bizarre powers” and is chosen as the Receiver of Memory. He has a wide variety of interests. For a pre-adolescent, he is extremely wise, curious, thoughtful, and has a much deeper understanding in life than the others in his community. B. The Giver – Formerly known as the Receiver of Memory until Jonas was chosen (making him The Giver). Just like Jonas, he is very patient, wise and understanding; He helps in making important decisions in the community. He looks old but actually is not as old as he looks because he deals with a lot of loneliness, frustrations, and painful and traumatizing memories.

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C. Gabriel – Gabriel is a loveable and cute child Jonas’s family takes care of. Jonas gets very attached to him especially at night when Jonas puts him to sleep with beautiful memories. D. Jonas’s father – Jonas’s father is a good-natured, compassionate and loving Nurturer who works with infants. He is an incredibly sweet, affectionate, silly man and father. He enjoys his job and is fond of children. E. Jonas’s mother – Jonas’s mother is your everyday lovely working mom. She has a significant role in the Department of Justice. She, like any warm-hearted mother gives guidance and advice to Jonas.

F. Asher – He is the high-spirited, clumsy, playful best friend of Jonas. He is always punished by his teacher for not have proper language acquisition and for frequently being late. Though in the ceremony of twelve’s, he is assigned Assistant Director of Recreation. G. Fiona – She is a friend of Jonas who is assigned as a Caretaker in the House of the Old. She is red-haired (which only Jonas can see) and is kind-hearted, gentle and patient. Jonas acquires sexual stirrings for her. H. Lily – Jonas’s little sister is very talkative and loud. But she is a very knowledgeable girl. I. The Chief Elder – She is a well-informed elder who is the leader of the community. She is the head of the Council of Elders, a committee that creates laws and controls the community.

III. Plot Summary

In a futuristic utopian society that has abolished pain, frustrations, sorrows, hatred and fear, everyone and everything is equal and the same; A perfect world where every person is assigned a role once they reach twelve years old. When Jonas, the wise and understanding protagonist turns twelve, he is assigned a very special role: The Receiver. He is trained by The Giver and receives different memories and feelings that were kept from their community. As Jonas learns more and gains deeper understanding, he finds out that when his father “releases” babies, he kills them. This makes Jonas very furious thus giving him a burning desire to change things in his community.

To achieve this, he abandons the community with Gabe (a new child who has been staying with them), suffering from hunger and pain, and avoiding search planes to convey feelings and color to his community and bring himself to the world he has dreamed of knowing. When he reaches a point of physical exhaustion and starvation, he sees lights and hears music from a place ahead of him. IV. Point of View: The book was written in a “limited omniscient” 3rd person point of view. It was written in third person with the points of view and feelings of Jonas.

V. Themes or Morals:

Do not give up and stand up for what you believe in. Just like Jonas, we should be able to gather up our courage to do whatever we can to achieve something especially if that something has a positive outcome and is for the good of many. Balance liberty and security. What is life when you are too sheltered? Life is about taking chances and being able to be free to do what you want. But there must also be a limit to this. There can be no pleasure without pain and vice versa. Pleasure and pain are considered a package deal. You simply cannot value how wonderful an experience is if you have no idea how suffering feels like. Without enjoying the beauty of life, you also do not feel sorrow and discomfort. Life would be very meaningless and dull without one or the other or even both.

Memories are vital. First of all, if your mistakes are forgotten, they may be repeated. This statement is also related to “there can be no pleasure without pain and vice versa”. Yes, without memories, we will forget about all our sufferings and anguish but there will also be no true pleasure in life. Acknowledge differences. In The Giver, each individual is assigned by his/her interests especially at the age of twelve. Like in our world, at around twelve years old, we start shaping our own identities. We should celebrate these differences and not be intimidated by the trends and peer pressure. Be who you are and respect others for being themselves.

VI. Author’s style:

The author used different literary techniques to make the story more interesting and mysterious. A. Cliff hanger – In the end, Jonas sees lights and hears music, people singing. It doesn’t specify what happened to neither Jonas, Gabe nor the community. It makes the reader wonder if Jonas and Gabe found the destination they’ve been looking for or maybe they passed away. B. Foreshadowing – When he bathes the old woman in the House of the Old, he feels closeness and love which foreshadows his longing for personal relations. – In the beginning, Jonas was apprehensive about the Ceremony of Twelve this foreshadows his disappointment with his community. C. Symbolism – Fiona’s red hair especially the color red represents burning desire and passion. Thus, giving Jonas stirrings for her.

– The river which streams through the community to some other place represents escape from the boundaries of the community.
– Gabriel symbolizes hope, light and regeneration.

VII. Author’s purpose (perspective) – The author’s purpose is to inform and entertain. She sees that even a utopian society can be imperfect in many ways. Also, she finds memories are very significant VIII. Strengths or Weaknesses of the book: The book’s plot is very original, unique and inspirational. The storyline was presented in a beautiful way. Though fictional, it is somewhat relatable and the themes are clear and moving. But, there are complex thoughts that require maturity to able to be interpreted well. Though, I do not see this as a weakness.

As a person, first of all, be balanced. Anything in excess or lacking is not good. Whether pleasure and pain, or liberty and security. Secondly, keep hold of your memories. They aren’t just a part of your past; these can also define your future. Also, never give up. Always give your 110% and you will succeed. Lastly, be who you are. As Dr. Seuss said “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer that you” b. As an artist

As artists, we should be able to acknowledge each other’s interests and respect each other’s works of arts. Also, originality is important. I quote Dr. Seuss: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” c. As a member of the community

As a member of a community, you should be able to do everything that you can for the good of the community.

X. Recommendation (why should a person read this book?)
This Newbery Award winning novel seems quite simple yet it has very complicated views with an extremely interesting, one-of-a-kind and mind-blowing plot. This 179-page book will surely enlighten you and will change the way you perceive life.

Book Review: The Giver

Lois Lowry’s The Giver is a classic read that portrays a bizarre society. Free will is questioned. Human emotions and experiences are absent. The novel creates a thought-provoking discussion regarding life and suffering: would an ideal world incorporate pain?

The Giver depicts life that is orderly, predicable and painless. In the community of Sameness, every individual has a specific, productive role to embody and execute. Choice is nonexistent and personal freedom is not an option.

Upon his twelfth birthday, Jonas is deemed the new Receiver of Memory and must begin training for this highly-respected position. The Receiver carries all the memories of the past that involve both pleasure and pain — nobody in the community is ‘burdened’ with such knowledge.

During training sessions, the current Receiver must give Jonas these memories. He gives him truth, the various realities that comprise the human experience.

The Receiver of Memory is responsible for storing troubling memories, which in turn, prevents suffering for everyone else. Yet, if pain and suffering are eliminated, is the experience of life itself also extinguished? I tend to think that we can derive meaning from overcoming adversity, from transcending pain into strength.

Memories pertaining to beauty, warmth and love are withheld, too. Perhaps the community could not bear to cope with grief, sadness and unpleasant feelings, should change occur — should pleasurable moments cease.

Buddhist notions reiterate that life is suffering and by following a particular path, we can rid ourselves of anguish. However, suffering, even as a result of desire, is part of being human. If we don’t try to go after what we want, if we don’t try to forge connections, afraid of getting hurt, something will inevitably be lost.

“Without desire, we wouldn’t be here,” John Amodeo, PhD, said in a Psych Central article. He references insight from Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist and Buddhist teacher who wrote the book Open to Desire: Embracing A Lust For Life. “To set desire up as the enemy and then try to eliminate it is to seek to destroy one of our most precious human qualities.”

“The scientific research that led to Attachment Theory, pioneered by John Bowlby, tells us that we’re wired with a need for connection — what he calls human attachment,” Amodeo said. “Without strong bonds, our immune system languishes and we’re more prone to anxiety, depression, and other ills. As we welcome our longings and uncover how they’re guiding us, we might find that our deepest longing is to love and be loved. Now, how can that be anything other than sacred?”

The Giver portrays a strict society that attempts to shield its members from suffering and joy. Yet, if pain is eliminated, if feelings and an assortment of experiences are excluded, it poses an unsettling question: are we really living at all?

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Psych Central’s Recommendation:

Reflection of The Giver

After finishing the book, I was totally shocked and silent, there were so many feelings coming out that were hard to define, especially due to the ambiguous ending, it make us confused, however, it also helped me think in deeper ways.

The story was describing a perfect world without negative things and substances, people there strictly followed the main rule of “Sameness”. Jonas was anxious about the ceremony of twelfth, he would be assigned a job that determined his lifetime career by elders’ observation. Surprisingly, the chief elder announced his assignment as a receiver of memory at the ceremony, that was the most respectful job in the community. People were afraid to face misery, they chose to get rid of the memories, took away mental feelings from people. Thus, his duty was to hold those memories dated back in the past that had once existed, he met the giver for his training. During the process, he gradually knew that the place he lived in was abnormal. Therefore, Jonas decided to escape.

It was really adventurous, but it looked a bit sad. Although people lived under good conditions and well-arranged schedules, they didn’t have the freedom to pursue themselves. They were unknowing to feelings and invisible to colors, therefore, they didn’t even have the ability to pursue. I think this was a bit similar to communistic country, people have equal economic condition, but the authorities conduct totalitarian for the purpose of preventing chaos, they formulated strict rules to control citizens and their minds, there was no democracy and personal mind.

I really approve of Jonas’ courage to escape from the over perfect world, he broke the rules to find his true self, but it was controversial for him to abandon his parents and friends in order to have freedom and his own mind. As a receiver of memory, he was responsible for handling chaos; in contrast, he brought about mess. Also, he initially tried to convince the giver to go with him, he didn’t think of citizens’ fear. It was really selfish of him to give up everything to achieve his goal. On the other hand, it was really self-centered of everyone to make Jonas have the burdens that they didn’t want to suffer. As an old saying goes, “Do to others as you would be done by. ”, apparently they made someone tolerate bad things they didn’t want. Everything has its pros and cons, it depends on the person’s decision. People considered their lives as important things, but Jonas wanted to have freedom. It was really hard to accurately say they were ethical or not, it was that they had their own perspective.

When I was reading, the most impressive thing was the word “release”, the plots just mentioned that “release” was an honorable ceremony to the old, a punishment to someone who made mistakes. At first I just regarded it as making people away from the community, but I finally realized that it was “euthanasia” while Jonas received the memory. This issue has been disputed among people., euthanasia has been used on human whose disease is incurable or less likely to survive, as a relief to ease pain and avoid medication under agreement. The meaning of release was to make an excuse forcing people to be dead. Obviously it violates the ethics, since life is one of the major human rights. Besides, they made people die without listening to people’s mind and even against the natural principle of death. It was an useful way to prevent over-increasing population, however, it is not appropriate to kill people who were innocent.

I love the book really much, because it fully presents us the opposition of utopia, and make us think about when we thrive to live a better life, we omit the other thing that really can bring us happiness and hope. As the technology grows, we have more convenient tools to help improve our life quality, but it causes people being stressed out so as to produce new thing. We should be really grateful about the things and the resources we have, on account of them, we are not controlled by irrational regulations, and fortunately we are totally free.