- Title The Giver
- Author Lois Lowry
- Year 1993
- Genres Young adult, Science fiction
It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders. Twelve-year old Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is selected as the Receiver of Memory, Jonas discovers that their community is not as perfect as it seems. It is only with the help of the Giver, that Jonas can find what has been lost. And it is only through his personal courage that Jonas finds the strength to do what is right...
Very interesting book, this one. A relatively short young adult novel set in what at first appears to be a utopian future but gradually the rose-tinted glasses are taken off. I like that it’s a gradual process to understanding that this seemingly perfect world is not all it’s cracked up to be. That we go on the journey of discovery with Jonah who has his own issues to deal with as well. I thought the end felt a bit rushed, Jonah suddenly flipped and decided to do what he did, and of course it doesn’t come to a satisfying conclusion at all. But, for me, it’s not really about that, it’s about the topics broached within.
It raises some moral and ethical questions - what are the right limits to put in place on society to have the uniformity and success of a utopian life. No hunger, no war, no violence, but no emotions either. No happiness and no personality - I mean, what really is the point?
It’s also worth thinking about keeping all the memories from past lives - so we can learn from our mistakes - but piling them all on to one unfortunate person. How is that fair? And what are the chances of us actually learning from our mistakes anyway?
Rating: 3 / 5