The Giver

If there is something you need to know about me is that I love reading. I guess it is something my parents taught me as a child. I wasn’t the kind of girl who stayed at home every day surrounded only by book thinking they are my only friends… that’s not my case. I just like reading and like books. It is as simple as that.

Sometimes a book helps you just getting you entertained when you don’t have anything else to do or it makes you smile when you’ve had a shitty day. But sometimes a book can make you think about things you hadn’t noticed before or things hadn’t pay attention until that very moment. And sometimes it can became something just personal without you being able to realize it. That’s what happened with the last book I’ve read which is called ‘The Giver’.

The Giver’ has been written by Lois Lowry and published in 1993. It describes a world whose human society is between an utopy and a distopy. I know it must sound strage but how can you describe a society in which there’s no murder or theft and where no one breaks the rules? I guess that is ideal. It is what every country or city wishes to have: a place where there’s no hungry, no fear or pain of any kind. A place where everyone lives with no needs and can feel that he (or she) belongs to a family and a community that accepts him and values him.

It seems just like an idyllic world and it almost is an idyllic world. However everything is more complicated than it seems. How did they get to this point? Making a couple of sacrifices of course. This is an organized world in which everyone has a happy and ordered life and where everyone knows how tomorrow is going to be because there, there are no surpraises or spontaneity. It is a world of rules where there’s no free will.

Whenever a baby is born, he is brought up in a center for new borns until he is a year. The day of his first birthday this baby recives a name and a family is assigned to keep it. The first twelve years of his life he will be raised learning and respecting a series of rules and then the community will assign him a job depending on his skills.

Once he is considered to be an adult, he will be given his own house and he will be able to apply for a partner. Even this partner and the future children of this couple will be selected and assinged by a committee (maternity is another job, of course, and only a couple of girls per year can be selected for this task).

In spite of all its advantages, it is a world without color and emotions or feelings where its inhabitants can’t choose anything.

The main character of this story is Jonas, a boy who just turned twelve years and who has been assigned as the new Receiver. This means that he is going to receive the memories of the old world, the world which has been already forgotten. Through this memories Jonas learns how different his world is from that one in which people played with snow and laught histerically or where they suffered hungry and wars.

I’m not going to tell you the rest of the story so you should discover by yourselves what is Jonas going to do with this new knowledge. ‘The Giver’ is  the first of four books that I hope I will be able to read as soon as possible.

Some time ago a Hollywood producer bought the rights of this book, but it wasn’t until last year that the film was finally released though I think that we will have to wait a little more to watch it in Spain.

Here you can see the trailer.

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  • Arnoldo Hasas

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

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