The Giver

giverbook1The Giver by Louis Lowry reminds me a lot of Farenheit 451, Anthem or Brave New World in the sense that these books begin with a Utopian society in place and the set up for the main character to challenge this utopia. The society in The Giver exists to maintain a sense of sameness for everyone in the city, but in turn has removed some of the depth, mainly the highs and lows from life. Children are regulated and awarded (2 per couple, one boy, one girl), not the product of a regular marriage relations, marriages are arranged, children have schedules to follow down to when they begin riding bicycle, wear shoes with buttons, when they don’t have to have ribbons in their hair (for girls). The children also go through a volunteer process, where they try out various areas of labor and work so that the council can evaluate their skills and assign them a job task for life. The book begins with Jonas, the main character, anticipating this big life change for him. He hasn’t been partial to any of the jobs he has volunteered at and therefore does not know where he will be assigned. At the ‘Ceremony of Twelve’, after initially being skipped over, Jonas is given the task of the ‘Receiver of Memory’, of which, there is only one in the community. He is given cryptic instructions and begins meetings with ‘The Giver’. Turns out ‘the Giver’, who eventually becomes like his surrogate grandfather, holds all of the knowledge of the past, wars, snow, family, hate, violence, the ocean, etc. His job is to transfer these memories to Jonas. Through the transfers, Jonas becomes disillusioned with the society he lives in. The remainder of the book chronicles Jonas’ decisions of what to do with this new found knowledge that he can’t share with anyone.

I really enjoyed this book – it was a very quick read and highly recommended! Hopefully, I’ll read the two sequels soon, Gathering Blue and The Messenger. . . 8.5/10

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9 Comments

  1. Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    That sounds really interesting! I really liked Brave New World – I think I like books like this.

  2. pearl
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    that was a good book 🙂 i haven’t read the sequels, though.

  3. kaylebug
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This book is seriously one of the best I have ever read! I read it in 7th grade and loved it!

  4. sarah
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My favorite book of all time.

  5. Posted April 21, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    my book club is going to read 1984, Brave New World, and Utopia back to back. should be interesting – maybe we can read this one later down the road, sounds like they will have a lot of interesting similarites or themes. Fahrenheit 451 & Anthem are also on my never ending reading list!

    also thought you might think this was funny – http://tinyurl.com/aon99n

    • Elizabeth
      Posted April 21, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      I just ordered 1984 from paperbackswap.com (haha but I don’t claim to have read it already, although I will say in all honesty I have read the Bible cover to cover twice because of a Bible in a Year and a Chronological Bible in a Year – hilarious article, thanks for passing on!), but haven’t heard of Utopia. Fahrenheit 451 and Anthem are both really short – you could probably read them pretty quickly. I read Anthem in 10th grade for a scholarship competition essay – it has a lot of parallels to the story of Adam and Eve. Really I just wanted the extra credit for my English AP class, not the scholarship. 🙂 I’m excited to read it again though for our book club.

      • Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’ve read 1984, the Giver and Utopia and they are fun books to read. I didn’t know the giver had sequels I will be getting those soon!! 1984 is my number one book of all time though, but section 2 is sort of boring, but it’s a GREAT story. After you read the book there is a half decent British movie on 1984 and they’ve been planning a remake but it hasn’t happened yet – more info check out http://www.imdb.com

        However – Utopia does get fairly boring because it is rather lengthy and over explanatory. But it’s written by St. Thomas More for whom a Catholic Church up by HCBCnw was named after.

        I love that type of story. If you like Orwell’s work check out Animal Farm also – it’s historically based on Russia and the Soviet Union but uses animals to give you what happened (Orwell got in trouble for publishing it because everyone knew what it was about, but at the time no one was condemning the Soviet Union and Britain was still allies with the Soviets)

        • Elizabeth
          Posted May 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          A lot of people have said that they liked Animal Farm – it’s on my list of books to read for sure!

  6. nuria
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i ♥ diz book!!!!!!!!!!

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Paperbackswap.com allowed me to go ahead and get the second book in the trio that follows The Giver, which is Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue. Right from the very beginning of the book I was […]

  2. […] and followers, this book is a quick and interesting read. Again, I can compare it to Farenheit 451, the Giver, Brave New World – all stories of a ‘utopian’ society that is brought into […]

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