Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Somehow I missed reading The Giver as a child, but I'm glad I was able to read it now. I could really see how it influenced current dystopian books.
I found the community where Jonas lives to be creepy. And rightfully so the community has developed to keep it's occupants safe. In order to stay safe, the members of the community have no choices. Obey the rules and stay safe or be released from the community. Being released isn't preferable. Not being part of a community is a terrible thing. You might have to fend for yourself unless another community takes you in. Each person in Jonas' community has a job and they perform their jobs knowing that it helps the community. I liked the idea that everyone had a purpose and everyone worked hard for the community, but at the same time, I felt the community robbed its residents of so much joy.  The community reminded me a lot of the Godspeed, the ship in Across The Universe. A lot of the same conflicts were in The Giver. Does taking away choice lead to a more peaceful society? How do we stop conflict and end people's suffering?
I felt bad for Jonas. So young, only twelve and given such grown up tasks. But Jonas had a lot of heart. He was willing to risk so much to help others. I found his kind spirit touching. I liked The Giver. He didn't agree with what was being done but he had been silent for so long. I enjoyed his relationship with Jonas and how it developed.
The Giver was very thought provoking. And for such a short book (179 pages) had a lot to say. I think this is a great book for all ages. If you missed this one as a child, do pick it up. Others who shared their thoughts about The Giver: My Guilty Obsession, Writing Though Rose Tinted Glasses, (K)atty at Law, and A Nook Full Of Books.


  1. This book was you must read the other ones she wrote after The Giver!

  2. I didn't read this when I was little either--instead we were assigned her "Number the Stars" (which I loved). I agree that this was a a pretty powerful book!

  3. I didn't read this growing up either, but I did read it for fun in college. And in some ways I think I'm glad I waited till college to read it, because I don't think I would have gotten as much as a kid.


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