Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The Giver by Lois Lowry
From amazon: In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.
I have read this book several times, and each time I am enthralled by Lois Lowry’s powerful writing. She sucks you into a utopian society, and gives you just enough facts to make you appreciate the great things about the community.
I felt bad for the citizens of this community. It didn’t seem like they were getting the entire human experience. They had no choices and, as a result, had shallow emotions. Jonas didn’t know what true anger, fear, or love felt like until he began his training.
I loved how thought-provoking this book was. It made me wonder if I would give up my agency (and color and season change) for the good of the community. This story made me appreciate my agency.