“The Giver” Analysis Essay
Lois Lowry’s book “The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1)” is set on a utopian society, which gradually transform into a dystopian society. The book captures the life of a young boy named Jonas, up to his twelfth birthday. The young boy’s society has eliminated pain and strife. Moreover, plans to eradicate emotional distresses are underway. Jonas is honored to inherit the position of the receiver of memory” (the custodian of past memories). However when Jonas meets the custodian (memory Giver), he is confused on his expectations. Moreover, the Giver chooses to ignore some norms while passing over his memory to the new custodian. The author seems to have coined the title of the book from this episode. During the process of memory transfer, Jonas discovers the secrets of knowledge. Jonas lived in a naïve community that had little value for knowledge and curiosity. After discovering the power of knowledge, Jonas is troubled with the idea of passing his newest discovery to his family. Indeed the community lived a shallow life that was devoid of love, knowledge, color, or choices.
In the book, Lowry creates an artificial world that suits her analysis. Just like ‘The Animal Farm,’ the book uses symbolic characters, and activities to illustrate the essence of an ideal world. According to the author, people living in a utopian society do not have choices. In the utopian world, everything including pain and fear was under control. Moreover, people had no choices and duties were assigned to everyone according to their capacity. For instance, the giver was the sole custodian of the society’s memories. Other distinctive roles included giving birth, which was assigned to birthmothers. Presumably, the author creates this artificial world to fit her own literacy ambitions. Unlike other related works of literature, “The Giver” is not a symbolic literature. This is because characters and events recorded in the book are just a simplifications of ordinarily life and events.
Usually, author creates a representation of the world around them in their work. In most cases, writers base their work on political events or occurrences that affect their society. Lowry presents the struggle between individuals and the society. The author portrays morality as grey. Moreover, suffering comes because of human mistakes and not because of political faults. The book presents the evils of fascism and communism in an attempt to uncover their faults. Ideally, the author does not endorse either of these ideologies but she demonizes them. Therefore, a first time reader of the book will get the impression that fascism and socialism are evil.
The book’s content does not fit the intended audience. The content seems unsuitable for young readers. However, the book has the right attractions to get the children involved. For instance, the book has a science fiction manifestation that blends well with children thoughts and fantasies. The idea of schooling as presented in the book may not be appropriate either. The book equates school to hell or totalitarian control. Although the idea might be appealing to young readers, it does not attract the same feelings from adult readers. Children often become obsessed with the propaganda portrayal of fascism and communism. The heroic representation of characters is the main aspect that attracts children into the literature. Despite this portrayal, the author does not give direction concerning his ideas. The book presents complex ideas but fails to give a precise answer or the way forward. Such presentation may not be appropriate for young children who have minimal understanding potential.
Finally, the book lacks a concrete argument or its argument lacks sense. Through The Giver, the author introduces the audience to a world without pain. In this utopian world, everyone is happy and the elders arrange their lives. This world also lacks conflicts and, therefore the reading could do without an argument. In addition, the characters lack conflict since they exist in a state of self-satisfaction. For instance, Jonas is selected as the sole custodian of the society’s memory. This selection does not present any form of contention and, hence the absence of conflict between the characters. Lack of conflict makes the book inappropriate for critical or literal analysis. Moreover, this aspect strengthens the idea that the book is a propaganda creation. The main advantage of the book is that it explores political issues from an optimistic perspective. Unfortunately, the book fails to defend its position on the subject matter. This makes it inappropriate for young readers. “The Giver” is a must-read for lovers of children literature.
Lowry, Lois. The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1). London: Ember, 2006. Print.