Touching novel which differs a lot from the film.
A few months ago, The Giver was has been made into a film and became popular. The lucky ones of us had read this novel in school. I hadn’t but I think it is a great basis for a discussion. The basics are the same in the film and the book. People gave up strong emotions for living in peace and harmony. You don’t get married because you fall in love, you have to fill in an application form for getting a partner – what isn’t bad because people are not able to love anymore. But they are also unable to hate or to feel real anger or any other negative emotion. People should be equal and so they can’t see colours, it’s all black, white and grey. There is also special speech lessons in school because people should say exactly what they mean.This is the world our protagonist Jonas lives in and as you can imagine he is chosen as the next Giver. The Giver is the one who keeps all the memories – also emotions, feelings, bad and good ones. He keeps all the memories inside him and so he sometimes suffers great pain. He is the only one who is able to see colours. After Jonas got to know about his fate, The Giver shares his memories with him and Jonas gets to know snow, heat, colours and so on, but also pain, war and other painfull emotions.
The Giver Quartet doesn’t follow Jonas’ story.
The book is about an alternative society and you start thinking about if it would be a better one if we would give up strong emotions. This is what the discussion is about because even if the first impression is very peaceful, the society becomes more and more cruel if you look at it more deeply. That’s also what Jonas experiences and in the end he has to make a serious decision.
The ending is ver abrupt but the book is not so special because of a happy or sad ending but because of the described society and the consequences of this kind of living. There are three other books the author named The Giver Quartet but they do not follow Jonas’ story. I haven’t read them, yet, but the last one of the books, Son from 2012, is said to connect the three stories of the other books The Giver, Gathering Blue and Messenger.