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The Giver, 4. Juli 2005
The Giver - Review
The book takes place in a very strange community, where no one can see colors and everything is monochromatic. In this community everything is almost perfect: there is no hunger, no poverty and no war. The main characters are Jonas, his younger sister Lillie, their parents, and their infant brother, Gabriel. Jonas is closing in on his Ceremony of Twelve, then, when Elevens become Twelve's, these events are some kind of birthday-parties. In this event every Twelve is assigned a job decided by their abilities and the things, which they prefer to do in their volunteer-hours, until the rest of his live, or until reaching the House of the Old. After that event the children have the same rights like an adult and then it doesn't matter to them how old they are. This society is divided is different parts: the community then the Elders and above the Giver, the person, who has the most important job in the community he holds all the memories of what ordinary life was like. He has also memories of colors, of hills, of snow, and of an ordinary family life. The Elders have decided to transmit him all these memories including everything from cruel war to very nice things like Christmas. All that stuff the community doesn't know and especially that is the Givers job to keep these memories away from the people of the community so that the community works comparable to a machine. By the Ceremony of Twelve Jonas is assigned to exactly that unusual but much respected job: He should be the new Giver. Soon Jonas learns why his community is based on rules and why some things are banned, and what does it mean to get released. The reasons why people are released are different ones: Citizens get released when they broke the rules for special things three-times, the old people get released also but not only because of breaking a rule, but also of their age, in this case this process is a kind of event for the Olds. But even children get released when the birthmothers get twins or a child is too slow in growing or is too weak.
But there is an upside: Jonas finds the real meaning of family and love, that doesn't exist in the emotionless community he lives. But from time to time Jonas feels obliged to risk an overthrow of the existing order in the community therefore he makes a very risky intention with the Giver that would change the community completely.
The Giver is a fascinating book about a fictional utopian society. It shows to you how exciting our lives are compared with the boring, and unemotional lives of the members of the community. And also how cruel it is to live for rules, the one thing is that everything is almost perfect but it cannot be because there couldn't be happiness with no emotions, and also the fact that all the children were taught wrong things isn't alright. But the people who taught the children don't know it better, not even the Elders, still the Giver knows how all the things really are. Since you cannot miss what you never had, live for the inhabitants is not that bad. The Giver is definitely worth reading and I would recommend it to people with an imaginative interest in strange new worlds.