Musings: The Giver and Community Essay

Submitted By majlis
Words: 1117
Pages: 5

The Giver is a wonderful book! Lois Lowry skillfully crafted an intriguing and profoundly thoughtful story. She subtly creates an uneasy feeling that something is wrong with this "perfect world." The Community's advisers intend to establish security within Utopian society, but they really establish a stifling dystopia. To protect people from the risks of making poor or wrong decisions in life, the advisers plan and dictate the lives of the people. In effect, the citizens have no freedom of choice; they do not choose their job or even their spouse. Moreover, the advisers inhibit the people's ability to feel because they want to spare them from the hardships and pain of life. For instance, individuals must take a pill everyday, which suppresses passionate feelings. The citizens do not know or experience true emotions like love.

              One of the goals of the Community is to achieve "sameness" so that no one feels embarrassed or gets excluded for being different. However, this limits individuality and freedom of expression because everyone conforms to a certain desired image. Finally, to relieve the population of the horrors and devastation of the world and the past, the advisers isolate the Community from the rest of the world also known as "Elsewhere" and give the burden of holding the memories of the past to a single member of society: the "Receiver." Therefore, the Community lives only in the present, and the people have a narrow perspective of life because they only know their community and way of life. They are naive; they do not gain knowledge or wisdom from the memories. The theme of this book was the idea of sameness and how we would most likely react to it and what it would be like.

            Jonas is like any other eleven-year-old boy living in his community. He seems more intelligent and perceptive than many of his peers, and he thinks more seriously than they do about life. Jonas worries about his, as well as his friend Asher’s future. He enjoys learning and experiencing new things. He chooses to volunteer at a variety of different centers rather than focusing on one because he enjoys the freedom of choice that volunteer hours provide. As the Ceremony of Twelve approaches, Jonas is apprehensive because he has no idea what Assignment he will receive. His parents try to allay his fears by explaining that the committee takes Assignments very seriously, so they rarely make the wrong choices. Meanwhile, Jonas' family begins temporarily caring for a new child, or infant, named Gabriel. Gabriel is lagging behind the other new children in development, so Jonas's father, a Nurturer, decides to care for Gabriel in his home at night in the hopes that he will do better there than at the center. 
            
        During the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas was selected as the new "Receiver of Memory”. While receiving the memories, Jonas learns a different and better way to live and realizes what he and the Community have been missing. He decides that something must be done to change the current conditions and enlighten his community. The Giver told Jonas because of "sameness" no one could change anything; everything has to be the same. After Jonas saw his father murder the young newborn, he was very distraught. The next day he learned of Gabriels’ is scheduled release and, since Jonas had become attached to Gabriel, he decided they must leave. 

          The story ends with Jonas standing on top of a hill with Gabriel and a sled. He sees lights and rides the sled downhill, but it is possible he could just be seeing things. The Giver had given him a memory just like it. The author gives you a chance to end the story the way you would like it. In my opinion, the book ended wonderfully. Lois Lowry could have ended the book in many different ways. She could have written that Jonas died and Gabriel was taken in by the family in the house, or that both Jonas and Gabriel survived.

        In conclusion, Lois Lowry's