The Giver: Main Features of the Story
Lois Lowry is famous for writing a number of children’s books that are mostly fiction and provides society with a life and world that may never come to pass. The Giver is one such story where Lowry takes the reader into a world where there is no place for emotion or any other human feeling that people must or need to experience. In this world, everything is controlled and monitored to ensure that the order of society is maintained. In this ‘ideal’ world, people gave up their right to choice and presently, have no feelings whatsoever about anything that goes on in their lives. It is a world where there is no war, pain, hunger, or love. All these are things most of the people are not familiar with because they all decided to give them up for the perfect world (Lowry, 1993).
The fictitious nature of this story brings into account the life of a young boy, Jonas, who is later given the responsibility of handling the community’s emotions but is later overwhelmed by the intensity brought on by the job. Jonas had always been different from other people in his community. He always had a feeling that he was different and despite being born just like every other child in the community, he felt like his life was different. As the receiver of memory, Jonas has the responsibility of taking on all the emotions that the community would have had, had it been a normal community. As time goes on and his training progresses, he feels that the community lives on hypocrisy and he hates the fact that people gave up on everything that would possibly make them human. He decides to escape the community in a bid to transfer all emotions back to the people so that the world would go back to normal (Lowry, 1993).
Jonas is a character in the story that many people may like. He has great insight into some of the things that puzzle him about life, despite his young age. Since this is a children’s book, Jonas is a character that countless children may be familiar with and countless may try to emulate. He tries to come to terms with the fact that there must be something wrong with the community he resides, even though the adults in his life do not mention this (Lowry, 1993). His difference from other people in society also may be something that most children face regularly. It is normal for people to feel this especially if the community is trying to conform to a certain way of life, and this is not happening for a few others. Jonas makes it possible for people to understand that this is normal and that it happens even in a well-organized and perfect society.
Brainwashing of society
Despite the book being fictional, it does depict a society that is often brainwashed into believing that having a certain order is the only way to attain perfection in society. This, according to me, makes a lot of sense because society needs emotions and feelings in order for people to thrive. Taking away these emotions and replacing them with a feeling of nothingness brings a feeling of frustration and dissatisfaction, which should not be the case with living (Lowry, 1993). It is highly recommended that people accept the order of things as they are and not try to change it, because this may affect the natural order of life. Normalcy is brought about by the different characteristics of individuals. Taking this away means that people are being forced to be who they are not, leading to dissatisfaction and rebellion that may disrupt the existing order in place.
Lowry, L. (1993). The giver. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.