Written by Lois Lowry
Genre: SF novel
Length : 256 pages
What happens if our society regulates the rules and words used to express feelings? Perhaps everyday is boring or people may be upset because it was hard. Society in The Giver is based on rules to regulate man’s body and spirit to make a peaceful and efficient world. It is composed of three classes: the senior elder who has the role of president, elders whose roles are ministers and ordinary people who do their work. The protagonist of the book is Jonah who looks like a normal 19-year-old boy. After Jonah finishes a higher education school program, he learns he has to be “The Giver” at the job presentation ceremony where people are randomly assigned jobs. During his training period, Jonah feels many different emotions that ordinary people can’t experience. For example, he feels enjoyment when people dance, romance when people love, pain when people fight. He wants to give those newly discovered feelings to other people, but it is too difficult because society is completely controlled.
Meanwhile, Jonah is secretly in love with his childhood friend, Fiona. He wants to give feelings of love to her, but Jonah (The Giver) is the only one who feels emotions. Others feel nothing at all. Jonah learns that if The Giver passes the control wall outside the world, everybody feels emotion. So, he starts on a long journey to the control wall. He goes to the snowy road and the sand desert, but he doesn’t find the control wall. He is exhausted and has difficulties, but he doesn’t give up. He keeps thinking about the liberty of the people.
People in this world don’t know death, love or dreams. The senior elders suppress ordinary people’s feelings. She says the reason why she controls feelings is to prevent disagreements, envy and fights. Unfortunately, good feelings are also controlled, so it is like people’s liberty is oppressed. I realized normal emotions such as happiness, sadness and anger are actually really valuable after reading the book. Moreover, everything in society in The Giver is the same; there aren’t any differences. It is important that individual differences make our society more complete.
A movie version of the book was released last year. It’s fascinating to watch. In the movie, the controlled world was black and white, but the free world was in color. If you read a book after watching the movie, you read the book with the images of the movie. So, I recommend you watch the movie after you read the book. It would be interesting to your imagination to compare the images in the book with the images in the movie. What if we didn’t feel any emotions on the opposite side of the world? If you enjoy Science Fiction novels, you should get The Giver.