Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
I absolutely adored the world that had been created in this book. It was so… Serious. And drab. There was no colour, no love, and so many strict rules you have to memorise. I could see how it made sense to have a world like that. If you pick someone’s job for them, they won’t make wrong decisions, so can’t hurt themselves. If you “release” the elderly, then there won’t be over population. That’s how you can tell the world was created wonderfully. Because it looked so good on the outside, but once you get a better look at it, you can see how wrong it all is. Which is, of course, what any good dystopia is meant to do. And it was done well enough that I could actually reflect on my life. Most dystopia novels just show you how terrible this world is. But the way this one was done, with Jonas receiving the memories of our world now, showed that we genuinely should appreciate what we have now.
Of course, that was never going to go perfectly. It’s hard to do that without sometimes shoving the morals in our faces. Like Jonas remembering the pain of war; it was clearly a jab at us to not fight wars. Surprisingly, things like that were very rare. So yay for Lowry!
However, no world is ever perfect. I wish they’d explained how everything worked better. I understood the lack of love, because they were taught from a very early age about precision of language. Plus, they had pills which stopped “stirrings”. But how is it possible to get rid of all the colour in the world? Or for one man to hold all the memories of the entire history of the world? It didn’t read like a fantasy book, but I can’t see how things like that could really happen. There were other questions that weren’t resolved well. Other than the ending, of course (don’t worry, I’ll get to that). What exactly makes you get picked to be the Receiver? It was sort of announced at his ceremony, but not enough. I wish the Giver had explained that. Who even decided there had to be a Receiver at all? It’s insane to think that one person can hold all the pain and all the joy of every single person to have ever lived. And most importantly, why is the world like it is? There’s always a big disaster that is meant to put the world (or in this case, this little part) into ruin. There earthquakes, famines, wars, “the Flare”, SOMETHING. But not in this case. Ironically, we were only focussed on the now.
Okay. THE ENDING. I either loved or hated the ending, there is no in between. It was so vague. They told us the plan, but, of course, something went wrong. Then we weren’t told if they succeeded or not. There might have been symbolism hinting that they failed, like with the sled, and the music. But then again, the music might also be saying they succeeded. I liked how we could decide our own ending, though. I think. It bothered me at the time, but I think it was clever at the same time. I don’t need to know every single detail. Just whether or not a certain person lived. I don’t care if they’re happy or not (well, not
MUCH). Just alive is good enough for me.
Overall, not a perfect book. But come on, do they even exist? I’d like to meet Lowry, and ask her a whole load of questions. Then, I’d be completely happy with this book!