“Jonas,” she said, speaking not to him alone but to the entire community of which he was a part,” you will be trained to be our next Receiver of Memory. We thank you for your childhood.” He was filled with fear. He did not know what his selection meant. He did not know what he was to become. Or what would become of him.
Are you hooked yet? I was. From page one of Lowry’s The Giver, I dutifully neglected all duties, chores, and homework, devouring every sentence of this 2oo page book.
Lowry’s writing style is very plain. She uses no flowery adjectives or poetic comparisons while depicting the Community in which Jonas lives. In this community, there is no pain, no fear, no worries. Each citizen is given a career at the age of twelve. Every family unit is assigned according to the committee’s observations. Snacking, idleness, and lying are not tolerated. There is no choice. No will. Each member of the community is content.
Yet when Jonas is assigned to be the next Receiver, his mentor opens his eyes to the beauty of freedom of choice, of decision for oneself. Jonas’ life will never be the same again.
Although its genre may be termed as “fictional”, I fear the message of this story is decidedly realistic. It warns against the foolishness of socialism.
This is a definite must read.