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The Giver

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The Giver by Lois Lowry Lois Lowry depicts an ideal society in her book The Giver. She successfully accomplishes this by conveying a utopian community through the eyes of a young boy named Jonas and she even won the John Newbery Medal for its great success. By following the protagonist, the reader is given the ability to recognize the ways in which the residents of the community have structured their lives over the years in order to live the most desirably. Lowry communicates to the reader the importance of societal relationship connections by implementing central themes including the importance of memory and individualism throughout the community in which Jonas is living. Jonas allows the reader to grasp the ideas and desirable behaviors the entire community shares as he is maturing in life. The community residents have imposed strict rules governing everything in daily life in order to eliminate what are some of the more depressing elements of an ordinary world. These include such things as pain, hunger, hatred, competition, and illness in exchange for happy and peaceful everyday lives. ...read more.


Some of the memories passed on include enjoyable ones like snow, sledding, trees, and colors. However, other memories The Giver passes on to Jonas are not so enjoyable such as pain, suffering, and death. The selection of jobs like Jonas' is the foundation for the structure of the small community. The community keeps careful order of the residents by grouping them according to similar age groups starting at birth. As each group progresses to an older age group, the community ensures that the most suitable residents fill specific jobs and even families according to their abilities and interests observed and determined by the community residents. "The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices were so carefully made" (48). The community residents put families together by selection and request from an already selected couple and were assigned exactly two children each. Such structure was important for the community to retain its perfect environment; even the sight of colors and different weather patterns as Jonas learned were not allowed. As The Giver tried to explain the community and Jonas' new assignment he stated, "they don't want change. ...read more.


Jonas was determined to change the way the community structured itself forever by giving the citizens their own history. He released himself from the community physically and mentally in a quest to find Elsewhere in order to help The Giver disperse the memories to the entire community. "He was awed by the surprise that lay beyond each curve of the road after a life of Sameness and predictability" (172). His journey, like the memories, taught him more about the outside world because he experienced the dangers of hunger and exhaustion first hand. Jonas' character develops and transforms dramatically as do the central themes throughout the Lowry's book. The transferring of the community's memories onto Jonas created a sense of individualism for himself as well as his questioning of the current community structure. The memories transformed Jonas as he in turn plans to transform his community. He experiences the importance of individualism and sets out on a life threatening quest in hopes to allow the community as a whole to experience individualism too. However the ending is uncertain, Jonas himself is successful at understanding the importance of societal relationships by staying strong and searching for a change for his entire community. Kathy Drake January 21, 2006 Favorite Book Critique ...read more.

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