Reflection: The Giver

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Positive Review

Lois Lowry’s The Giver presents an account of a community of people who live in a world that lacks the very essence of life. There is no color, emotions or even memories. This gives rise to a society that is well-organized, foreseeable and painless. This is quite a strange and risky move by the author in that any audience would most likely avoid reading a book that contains no life. Life is the result of overcoming pain and suffering and attaining strength.

The author, Lowry, however, manages to overshadow these defects in an excellent and creative fashion. The Giver provides a remarkable plot in the tale of the life of a community that is characterized by utmost obedience and morality. This provides an understanding of the circumstance and setting of the story. The story begins by offering the audience a glance at the book’s main character, Jonas. Jonas is only eleven years old. He heads into the next level of his life, the Ceremony of Twelve on his twelfth birthday that would result in his assignment as the community’s Receiver of Memory. This provides a strong foundation in the author’s direction of using Jonas as the center of the story. Everything being centered on him helps in the attainment of a better and more structural flow of the story. Jonas ends up abandoning the community as a result of the memories motivation to explore the outside world, restoring the community’s memory upon its people.

The ambiguous manner in which the story ends is also a captivating aspect of The Giver. By having Jonas run away from his dystopian community while tagging along Gabriel, the baby, Lowry induces the thought process in the minds of the readers. At this point, the audience is pulled in with an urge to know what happens to Jonas and Gabriel and the society that they had just left. To the disappointment of the reader, Lowry ends the story with Jonas and Gabriel riding a sled towards a colorfully lit house full of love and warmth. Jonas hears music for the first time in his life. He is then portrayed as undergoing hypothermic reactions. This leaves the future of Jonas and Gabriel in the creativity of the reader’s mind. They either froze to death on the sled or eventually found the land of Elsewhere.

The metaphorical use of the community in which Jonas lived is quite outstanding. Lowry uses society as a reflection of the restrictions and censorship just as it happens in the society today. In limiting the choices of a person to the point that they are left with nothing eliminates every kind of joy from their lives. This is a perfect depiction of the nature of human beings. No person wants to live restricted and locked up. In the end, some people realize their potential. They then rise in the pursuit of freedom and happiness. All they would need is to live life. This is exactly what Jonas did. From the memories of the community passed on to him by the Giver. These enlightened him and made him see the world from a new angle. He wanted to experience life as it ought to be.

In the use of more realistic relations in The Giver, the author makes it easier for the audience to relate to the story. This, in turn, passes on the intended message by the author.

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Negative Review

The Giver offers quite a good plot in the telling of the story of the community in which Jonas lives. This helps the audience to understand and appreciate the time in which the story was set and to follow the events that are outlined by the book in a more systematic manner. This, however, does not do much justice of the overall effect that the author intended for its audience. The Giver fails in its demonstration of an almost accurate kind of life the people of Jonas’ community. The society, as is intended by the author, is one that lives in virtual purity. It, in fact, feels lifeless as the people simply live as they are expected by the leaders of the society over the years. Even in light of the positive effect that the elders seem to have, the story presents a clash in the way the society ends up. This is with regard to how the society and its people lived after the deviance and departure of Jonas. The plot is curtailed by the omission of how the life of Jonas and Gabriel turned out. It could be that they survived and even returned to their people to help them deal with their lives or even change them. That is just some form of illogical suspense depicted by Lowry.

The omission of the way the society and its people existed afterwards then emerges as the book’s greatest failures. This is because it majorly revolves around the life if Jonas’ society before the wiping out of the people’s memories and the existing state of the society. Due to this, there was need for the author to explore the issue of how the society turned out upon the restoration of their memories. It was quite unfair of Lowry to avoid delving into this crucial subject. Such aspects as whether the society turned out better or in chaos should have had a place in the work. Even more was the initial allusion by the Giver to Jonas that the society would require his assistance to deal with the memories that would be restored unto them.

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The Giver demonstrates the lack of proper understanding by the author of the humanistic nature of morality. She appears, as in the book, to be more inclined to the assumption that morality is capable of inherently existing in any given human being. From the story, Lowry seems to that morality is not the tied to the culture of a given society. Morality is, in fact, the result of the culture in which a particular person lives. It is this belief in the correctness of her morality that the story of The Giver is built. People are simply born morally upright. She ignores the reality that individuals will deliberately make others to suffer. In this way, her portrayal of war as evil simply complicates the societal natural existence. War is a part of day to day life. It may not necessarily be the kind of bloody fights among the people. Rather, it may be psychological, social or even spiritual.

In spite of all the oversights in the writing of The Giver, Lois Lowry sticks to her creative convictions. She stands by the collective behavior of people in the society in which Jonas lived and its moral control.

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