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A review of the giver a novel by lois lowry

The Giver Book Review: The Giver Reviewed by: Free will is questioned.

The Giver by Lois Lowry - review

Human emotions and experiences are absent. The novel creates a thought-provoking discussion regarding life and suffering: The Giver depicts life that is orderly, predicable and painless. In the community of Sameness, every individual has a specific, productive role to embody and execute.

Choice is nonexistent and personal freedom is not an option.

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Upon his twelfth birthday, Jonas is deemed the new Receiver of Memory and must begin training for this highly-respected position. During training sessions, the current Receiver must give Jonas these memories.

  1. These assignments are based on years of observation of their characters and aptitudes, and whether they are assigned to be a nurturer of the young or a caregiver of the elderly, a labourer who keeps the streets clean or someone who prepares and provides food, they are usually a good match for the person.
  2. Although the world is foreign, parts are grounded in a reality that will be familiar.
  3. Within time he learns the horrifying secrets of his community and must make a decision that will test his courage, intelligence, and stamina. Perhaps the community could not bear to cope with grief, sadness and unpleasant feelings, should change occur — should pleasurable moments cease.
  4. There are rules, so many rules, which are adhered to, and which allow society to live without pain, suffering or conflict.
  5. But the Village is surrounded by Forest, a terrifying and deadly forest that kills those who venture into it -- and though the awkward teen boy Matty has been able to go there, it is now growing darker and twisted. The Giver trains twelve-year-old Jonas as the next Receiver of Memory, the community's receptacle of past memories.

He gives him truth, the various realities that comprise the human experience. The Receiver of Memory is responsible for storing troubling memories, which in turn, prevents suffering for everyone else.

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Yet, if pain and suffering are eliminated, is the experience of life itself also extinguished? I tend to think that we can derive meaning from overcoming adversity, from transcending pain into strength.

  1. At the Ceremony of 12, Jonas is shocked to learn that he has been awarded the most prestigious honor.
  2. Once he begins it, Jonas's training makes clear his uniqueness, for the Receiver of Memory is just that — a person who bears the burden of the memories from all of history, and who is the only one allowed access to books beyond schoolbooks, and the rulebook issued to every household.
  3. Rosemary was unable to endure the darker memories of the past and instead chose release, injecting the poison into her own body.

Memories pertaining to beauty, warmth and love are withheld, too. Perhaps the community could not bear to cope with grief, sadness and unpleasant feelings, should change occur — should pleasurable moments cease.

  • The Giver, who passes on to Jonas the burden of being the holder for the community of all memory "back and back and back,'' teaches him the cost of living in an environment that is "without color, pain, or past;
  • When they turn twelve, children in this world are assigned their future role in society by the Elders, and start training for it;
  • This book has been rated Middle Grade on up, with the caveat that there is some content of a sexual nature.

Buddhist notions reiterate that life is suffering and by following a particular path, we can rid ourselves of anguish. However, suffering, even as a result of desire, is part of being human. He references insight from Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist and Buddhist teacher who wrote the book Open to Desire: Embracing A Lust For Life. Now, how can that be anything other than sacred? Yet, if pain is eliminated, if feelings and an assortment of experiences are excluded, it poses an unsettling question: