Friday, February 10, 2006
The Giver - Lois Lowry (January/06)
Following Harry Potter I read another novel intended for a younger audience, but I did not find this book young. It is one of those books that will mean different things to the different ages that read it, in my opinion. The older readers will see something that the younger reader missed.
This novel is quite simply about a utopian society. Not that utopia is a simple concept, to many it is actually believed to be an impossible concept. This is a world where everyone is told what their point to the society is and what they should do to fit in to the grand scheme of things. A group of Elders watch the children and decide what jobs they should have, food is made by a group of people for the whole community, you receive certain things when you reach particular ages, and so on. It is an entirely planned society, and appears perfect in every way. You are given the job that best suits you, your mate is chosen to make up for your weaknesses while your strengths make up for theirs, and you have to wait and be selected to have a child because even that is done by a group of people for the masses. Marriage in this community is not a coming together of loved ones, it is a partnership.
The main character in the novel, Jonah, is t the age where he is chosen to receive his job placement and for the first part of the book is very anxious to learn what that position is. When the time comes that he is awarded his position, it comes with it a lot of new avenues to be explored. For starters, what may look like a perfect society from the outside is not as perfect from the inside. He also learns that not too long ago, the people that lived in this community were not run as perfectly as they are now. They used to have free-will. With this knowledge comes the adventure of the novel, which I will leave for the readers.