the giver


“Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.” —Goodreads

Dystopian genre, a lot of them nowadays. Ever since i started reading the likes of Hunger Games and Divergent, i always enjoy reading these kinds. It tackles stories about new kind of society governing the citizens with much organization and “sameness” but in fact much more strict and complicated. Putting up an equality among society by stripping away their freedom is one hard rule to accept, in our present world, anyway.

Jonas’ world is a new world without color, or pain or feelings. A world without variations,without choices, without free will. Everyone and everything is taken care of, their job, their food, their families, their lives. A world where no one knows their past because it was hidden from them. A world without feelings and emotions. A world who wants to know nothing.

Twelve is the age number where in that society that the children will be having the transition from childhood to adulthood. The ceremony will take place in order for the Elders to assign the “graduates” the kind of roles they are going to have in the community. It was based according to their performances all throughout their puberty. In short, the Elders or the ones in charge for that society were the ones to pick if you will be nurturers, or birthmothers, or lawyers or engineers. Then, when you receive your profession to be, trainings will take place. In Jonas’ case, he was skipped over when his turn of announcement came. Everybody waited for the last minute, at the end of the ceremony to know why. But Jonas was not assigned to any role. Instead, he was selected and carefully chosen to be “the receiver of the memory”, because he has the capacity to see beyond. It was an honorable title, but according to the duties, yes it will be an honor but it will a painful one. Only he will bear it alone. Now, Jonas was quite confused.

As i was reading “the giver” i cannot help but to put myself in Jonas’ shoes.

And, well, to tell you honestly, i am lucky i am not living in that kind of world. Because to be able to experience true happiness, you have to know pain and sadness. To be able to appreciate the present, you have to know your past. By being the receiver of memory, Jonas experienced most precious memories of the past, happy, sad, tragic, violent, successful altogether. “The giver” passed onto him lessons in life, good and bad, altogether. In that way, Jonas had learned the value and true meaning of living in this world. In order to feel real love, you have to feel pain. In order to find true happiness, you have to know what sadness means.

Some scenes had a big impact on me it left me crying. Rosemary, was one big surprise, and the “releasing” of the twins, and Gabriel’s verdict, kept me at the edge. But one thing really caught my attention. It was just a tiny portion in Jonas’ training sessions that made me glad that i was born in the present world. The memory of having a family, that made me so emotional. For i cannot imagine life in this world without the people who care for u and love you and support you. I am truly grateful for my family.

The way the story was written was simple and direct. It was actually written as a children’s book but have adult substance. The open-ended conclusion was one way of telling that it is up to the reader on how they want to end it. For me, i would love to think that Jonas and Gabriel had made it to Elsewhere and begin experiencing the real life. I want to hope that after all their sacrifices, they would be given the life they deserve, full of joy and colors and music and love. In the end, i am hoping that they will experience the true meaning of life.


The giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal (The John Newbery award (Medal) given by the Association for Library Service to Children.  The award is given for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.  It had also sold a lot of copies accordinng to Wikipedia.

This 2014,  I heard that there will be a movie adaptation coming.  Let’s wait and see! 🙂

Categories: book review, books | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “2. THE GIVER by LOIS LOWRY

  1. i’ve wanted to read this one for quite some time now. i have only here a hard copy of her other book “number the stars” which also won the newbery medal in 1989. this is a great review arjaye 🙂 i hope to get a hard copy soon.

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