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The book the giver by Lois Lowry is supposed to show what would happen if everyone is the same. It shows us that it’s good to be different and if people tried to make us all the same our lives would be boring. The author tries to show the reader that our lives are better because we don’t have to take pill to stop our feelings like they do.
Jonas feels isolated as he has pale eyes and he notices this when he first sees Gabriel. “It was the first thing Jonas noticed as he looked at the new child peering up curiously from the basket. The pale eyes. Almost every citizen in the community had dark eyes. But there were a few exceptions: Jonas himself, and a female five who he had had the different, lighter eyes.” Jonas has light eyes while everyone else has dark eyes and he notices this and feels isolated by it as he feels he is different to others but he’s not sure. The ceremony of twelve is next.Jonas and his friends all line up ready to be called by their number to receive their jobs. His friend Fiona is number is 18 which eventually gets called, which means Jonas is next. “He took a deep breath and smoothed his hair with his hand. ‘Twenty,’ he heard her voice say clearly. She skipped me Jonas thought, stunned.” Jonas was getting ready for the chief elder to call his name and when he was just about to walk to the stage to receive his job the chief elder skips him and Jonas is shocked and doesn’t understand what has happened and he feels embarrassed because he knows that all the people in the audience have heard her mistake as well as Jonas. The chief elder apologises.
As all the numbers were called out and all the jobs were getting handed out one by one Jonas still didn’t have his. Finally all the numbers were called and it was just Jonas left. “’I know,’ she said in her vibrant, gracious voice, ‘that you are all concerned. That you feel I have made a mistake’. ‘Jonas has not been assigned,’ she informed the crowd, and his heart sank. Then she went on. ‘Jonas has been selected.’ ‘Jonas has been selected to be our next receiver of memory’.” Jonas’ name finally gets called and told he has not been assigned a job but he has been selected to be the next receiver of memory. Everyone in the audience gasps and Jonas doesn’t know why he has been chosen. He gets told that to be a receiver you need to have- intelligence, integrity, courage (there will be pain), wisdom and the capacity to see beyond. Jonas never knew what that was but when he was there on the stage he looked out at the audience and he seen red for the first time. Jonas didn’t know what it was.
Jonas got a set of instructions and was told he could do things that others couldn’t. “4. Do not discuss your training with any other member of the community, including parents and elders.” “8. You may lie”. Jonas has known for as long as he can remember that at dinner time they always discuss what they did that day and now he’s being told that he cant. The other big instruction was that he can lie. You have never been allowed to lie in the community and now he can.Jonas gets his first memory as a receiver. “’I am going to transmit the memory of snow,’ the old man said, and placed his hands on Jonas’s bare back.” Jonas gets his first memory as the receiver. The giver places his hands on Jonas’s bare back and Jonas feels a whooshing sensation and then he’s on a hill in the snow. He sees a sledge and walks towards it and gets on. The sledge starts downhill and doesn’t stop till he’s at the bottom. But there is also bad memories. Over the year the giver has transmitted good and bad ones. The bad ones include things like war, pain, hunger and death.Jonas’ father has to decide to release the smallest of a set of twins. “’All private ceremonies are recorded. There in the hall of closed records. Do you want to see this morning’s release?’ Jonas hesitated. He was afraid his father wouldn’t like it, if he watched something so private. ‘I think you should,’ the giver told him firmly. ‘All right, then,’ Jonas said.” Everyone in the community thinks release is a nice thing where they sit and cheer as they walk away. But now that Jonas has decided to watch one he will know the truth. To release a new child they take a needle and put it into the baby’s head because the veins in their arms are too small to put the injection into. Jonas thought that they were just ordinary jags that new children get. As Jonas watches the new child goes limp and floppy. As the new child lays motionless his father picks him up and wraps him in a blanket. He takes the new child and puts him in a cardboard box and puts him down a shoot that looks like the garbage pipe. Jonas then refuses to go home so he stays with the giver.
Jonas and the giver come up with a plan to run away to elsewhere. “For the next two weeks, as the time for the December ceremony approached, the giver would transfer every memory of courage and strength that he could to Jonas. He would need those to help him find elsewhere that they were both sure existed. They knew it would be a very difficult journey.” Jonas has been given all the courage and strength he needs to make it to elsewhere so he leave a note for his family and leaves with Gabriel because he has been set to be released in the morning. During the day they slept and hid from planes and during the night they travelled and they didn’t stop till they got to the bottom of the hill on the sled and he hears music for the first time.
This book was interesting to read but it was good. I liked the fact that he managed to get away from the life he had been living. The people in the community don’t understand that its not normal the way they live, but Jonas found out and he changed it by leaving, hoping that he and Gabriel can have a better life.
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