The Givver

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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I read The Giver By Lois Lowry.

The main character is a young boy named Jonas. A negative trait is that he always seemed to break the rules of his town without knowing it. Such as using incorrect words to describe his feelings, which caused trouble to the community. The most significant change he undergoes is that he's quiet naive at first and doesn't know much about the real world, beyond his own perfect world. After being given the job to receive the memories of pain and joy, he's able to learn more about the real world and the past.

The giver, who transfers all of the memories to him by touch, causes this change.

Another important character is the memory Giver. He, of course, is important because he's the person who teaches Jonas how the past was and how life can be.

His relationship with Jonas is that he is the person who holds the memories of the world, and has to give them to the new receiver of memories, the job that Jonas was selected for.

He has a significant influence on the main character because Jonas respected him, partial because elders where respected because of there age, but also because he had the strength to endure the memories of the past, be them bad or good. He was also a very intelligent person.

The Setting of the story seems to be rather modern, although the exact time wasn't reviled. It takes place in a small community where everything is made to be perfect. Where people feel no pain or have memories of war or violence. It is important to the story because as Jonas receives more memories, he realizes whets going on might not be the best thing you can do to people, because there are many joys they haven't experienced. This contributes to the fact that the main character is alienated because he has a special job where he receives memories that other people have no idea of.

In the opening scene of the book, Jonas describes his community's encounter of an airplane that flies over their town. He explains how everyone was freighted, because it was against the rules to drive it right over the town. They where told to leave there bikes, which where the main means of transportation in his town, where they where, and to go inside a building. Everyone followed, not questioning it. This is important to show that the community is obedient and would follow the rules without giving it any thought. They allowed themselves to be controlled.

In the closing scene, Jonas runs away from the town. In his town, there is no color or music. Jonas at first didn't know what color is, when he started seeing it. The giver explained the concept of color to him, and told him about something called music, which the giver first heard when he became the receiver of memories. After he runs from the town, he finds a sled and a snowy hill, much like the ones that he received in his memories. After he slides down the hill, he ends up near a town, and hears music. This is important because it shows that Jonas is no longer confined to the rules of his town and can notice everyday things that occur in our world.

The narrator is inside the story from Jonas` point of view. This is an effective way to portray the story because you get a feeling of what Jonas is going through and you can notice the changes in his personality more than you'd be able to in 3rd person.

I wasn't too sure what the main message of this book was. I thought maybe it was to not to follow in something you do not believe is right. Like how the elders of the town minipulated the community.

I would describe the author as optimistic because even thought things where bad for Jonas and it seemed impossible to break free of the towns rules, he still tried and got away with it.

The best thing about this book for me was at the beginning of the story when I read it; I actually imagined the book in black and white, not color like I usually do when I read books. I was shocked when the author reviled that the community had no colors at all in it, and thought it was very effective the way it was described.