How would you feel if the government controlled your entire life? Do you imagine your life without emotions and feelings? Such dystopian problems can be found in the provocative novel The Giver written by Lois Lowry. The book was published in 1993 and became one of the most popular novels for young people. Lois Lowry was awarded with the 1994 Newbery Medal for her novel.
The book can be called a bestseller whereas more than ten million copies were sold to 2014. In the majority of schools of the USA, Canada and Australia, The Giver is in the reading lists. In addition, according to the public survey of 2012, The Giver was chosen as the fourth-best novel of all time for young people. In the end, there is a screen version of this book that was shot in 2014. When we speak about the genre of The Giver, we will say that it belongs to dystopia, as the author describes the alternate future society from the pessimistic point of view.
The author describes the world that consists of several communities. These communities are governed by the Elder who play the role of mayors of every big city. It is possible to say that they control everything in the world. They control people and even weather. There is hardly a person in this world who has freedom of choice. For example, people cannot choose their occupation. Their future profession is selected at the “Ceremony of the Twelves” when a child is twelve years old. People do not see colors, do not know about music and do not express any emotions. The total society is deprived of feelings. People do not know about war, anger, fear, despair and death. The memory about the world before this Sameness exists in a person called the Giver. This person possesses historical knowledge about the world and she is able to feel. The main character, Jonas, becomes a chosen one who receives this knowledge from the Giver. He learns about colors, sounds, feelings and emotions and his thoughts become controversial. Jonas realizes that people are deprived of the colors of life. On the other hand, he knows that this knowledge makes the life more complicated.
Jonas is the main character of the novel. This person can to experience controversial feelings. When he became the Receiver and learnt about emotions and colors, he understood that it was impossible to continue living in the world of Communities. He decided to escape to Elsewhere in order to live a normal life there.
The Giver is a very absorbing and gripping book that contains many problems on its pages. Firstly, the reader can come across the problem of control and lack of freedom. In my opinion, this problem is very solid and weighty inasmuch as total control is worse than death. People cannot live under the constant control of their governments or rulers, because they require freedom of actions and choice. Another problem is the importance of emotions for the regular life. When one does not feel joy, happiness, anger, stress or fear, he does not live. There is hardly a member of this society can be called a human being in the broadest meaning of this term. The state of Sameness in the Communities resembles the world described in Brave New World written by Huxley. People lived without emotions as well though they reached this condition with the help of drugs.
I can distinguish the problem of the value of memory. The power of historical knowledge and memories about the previous centuries cannot be overestimated forasmuch it emphasizes the authenticity of the chosen nation. When people forget about their past, ancestors and their deeds, they do not have future. Thus, it is important to protect knowledge and memory in order to remember who we are and where we have come from.
The Giver is a majestic and offbeat book that will be useful to every young person. It informs the reader about the most notable problems of our life. It makes the reader think about his life and values. I would recommend The Giver to everyone who wants to read a remarkable and newsworthy book in his spare time.