The Giver: A Review by Eugene Zhu

GiverCoverThe Giver is a morally driven story about a young boy called Jonas, who lives in a seemingly utopian society. At the age of 12, children are assigned their jobs, which they will train for and do for the rest of their lives. On the day Jonas is given his job, he is given the title of the “Memory Keeper.” The memory keeper’s job is to hold all the bad and good memories of the past within them. Since the Memory Keeper’s job is very important, Jonas is well respected by the community, but at a cost. Jonas had to give up his best friends, and he also learns the dark secrets of his community.

Life in Jonas’ community is very boring and unchanging, and so are most of the people who live in the community. These characters are uncomplicated and simple, one-dimensional characters. There are both pros and cons for the inhabitants because, although they are protected from harmful memories, they are also unexposed to the wonderful aspects of life. The book explores the consequences of eliminating all risks from the world. No emotion means no love and no concern for the weak. The society may have no war or hunger, but there is also no colour, beauty, or music. Because the majority of thee characters do not change throughout the novel, we cannot learn anything new about them throughout the story.

I enjoyed this book because of Lois Lowry’s writing style. Firstly, the way the characters are portrayed is interesting. It is fascinating to see the Jonas grow up throughout the book, as well as the choices he makes whenever he is faced with tough decisions. The ending of the book also leaves you with a cliff hanger, and can be interpreted in different ways.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in dystopian worlds. I don’t think this book would be suitable for children, as there is a mildly suggestive page in the novel.

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