Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Giver by: Lois Lowry

*Just a quick little note: The Giver was banned in many schools because it was thought to promote suicide and euthanaisa.*

Jonas lived in a painless, perfect world where everything was under control and no one really knew what real sadness, anger, or frustration were. They thought they knew. And at one time, the whole world had known. The whole world had known what snow was. They had seen the color red. They had used the word love and felt love right back, which was now an impractical word that no one ever used. There was no real pain, no real choices they had to make. All the choices were made by the elders. As soon as a child turned twelve, they were assigned a job in the community by the elders, and that was their job for the rest of their life. They had to apply to get children and to get a wife. But this was the world they knew. They had not known the world of colour, rainbows, and sunshine. To them, making their own choices seemed impractical. What if they made a wrong choice? Yes, it was better the elders made all the decisions for everyone as they were more likely to make the right choices. So, when Jonas turned twelve, you can imagine he felt nervous. What if he was assigned a job he didn't like?

The elders had been observing Jonas since his childhood, so they thought they knew what was right for him. They chose for him the most important, most well respected job in the whole community... he was to be the receiver of memory. The receiver of memory's job was to hold all the memories that other people didn't want to be burdened with. He held them all in his mind and kept them there for when decisions were to be made. The receiver of memory alone knew the true pain and pleasures of life. But the current receiver of memory was growing old, once he died, who would hold all those memories? So, Jonas was chosen to be given all of the old man's memories. Slowly, over a period of time, he was to be given all the memories until the receiver of memory had no more left to give, if Jonas was able to make it through all the training. In the end, Jonas decides that the community needs to have real emotions like he began to have when he was chosen to be the receiver of memory and has to leave the community and never return if he wants to carry out his plan.


This book is thought provoking.

I don't know if this is exactly a pro, but The Giver was a very unique book.

In the end, Jonas makes a choice that I think was the right decision.


After Jonas is told he will be the receiver, he is given a sheet of rules. On this sheet it gives him permission to lie whenever it is necessary.

The way the receiver transmits the memories into Jonas is not actually something that could be done in real life and is kind of supernatural.

The society euthanizes people who are no longer useful.

Thoughts and notes about this book:

I do not actually agree with the reason this book was banned from schools, as I don't think it does promote suicide or euthanaisa. The reason I think this is because it is shown at the end of the book that in this perfect society where there is no love and no emotions people then have no value. But when Jonas started to feel love and emotions, he realized that this was wrong and that people do have value and we can't just end their life because they don't fit in with the society's plan.

In this book, once a person grows old, they are "released". Released means that they have a big ceremony in which they invite the community and they share about what they did in their life. After the ceremony they are killed, or, as the community calls it, released. This will also happen to a baby if it is born too small or there are twins. One twin must be killed, because, if it wasn't, then they would overpopulate the community. If the baby is born too small, it is killed because small babies aren't as healthy and helpful as big ones.

In The Giver, the people have no love. They have no real emotions. That is what the receiver of memory is for, to hold all those emotions for them. It is because they have no love that they don't feel guilty about killing too small babies and such.


  1. I LOVE this book, I had to read it for school 3 years ago and I was planning on reading a chapter before bed and ended up staying awake until past midnight :)

  2. I really liked this book... I thought that it was very interesting.

  3. That sounds like a ridiculous book, yet I'd like to read it. The plots sounds really sad. Ho could any one write such a depressing book?! :)

  4. Lois Lowry is SUCH a good author. This is my favorite book. My friend said there is a sequel. I don't know, though. There is also two companions. Gathering Blue, and I believe the other is called Messenger.

  5. Hi there! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for the compliment. It is always fun meeting new people! :)