Review: The Giver 

Book Review (5)
The Giver is a story of a boy named Jonas who lives in a community with no pain, no heartache, and no choices. It’s perfect, no one gets hurt. On the day he becomes a twelve, Jonas is assigned the role of “Receiver of Memory”. His job will be to hold the memories of the entire world, including all the pain and suffering his fellow community members are ignorant to.
This novel is the perfect representation of safety versus freedom. Is it better to never know pain but have no choices, or live with the possibility of making the wrong choice but have freedom to make those decisions. It’s an extremely deep story with a very vague ending.
If you love deep thought stories with philosophical themes, than this is a great book to read. I recommend everyone read The Giver regardless but its better for people with an open mind.

I give this book a 5 out of 5.

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16 thoughts on “Review: The Giver 

  1. The people don’t appear to be suffering from their lack of choice; in fact, they don’t seem to notice it. Theirs is a community without starvation or sunburn. I have to wonder what measurement could be used to tell which society is better off; because if it’s pain, suffering, and loss then the community has at least an argument for itself.


    1. Yes but that’s where the debate of morality and life come in. Is it better to have no choices and ignorance in your life or have control over the direction your life goes in (even if it means you have hard times). Because aren’t the hard times a part of life? They make you appreciate the good. And they didn’t have love either. They didn’t know of any of this but I have to agree with jonas aboit giving them the chance.


  2. You don’t have much control over your life if you’re dying from war and starvation, either. It seems both societies had a lack of life; one from pain (and fear of it), and one from control.


    1. But no one said that starvation and war were the new life. It just said you knew about it. The community wasn’t even allowed to KNOW about war and starvation. His new life was with a loving family. He didn’t have to go to war or anything but the receiver of memory didn’t have to be the one with all the weight of the horrible stuff.


    1. Yes but from a long time ago. Also, you and I aren’t in a war or starving. We just know about it. That’s the world jonas lives in.


  3. Premature “enter”ing, sorry.

    And it wasn’t just abstract understandings of the concept, the memories were deep first-person feelings of the pain and (near?) death. The outside world had felt all that pain, causing the community to be formed as a shelter.

    And just having this knowledge and lack of order does not necessarily give freedom. I mean, there are women in today’s informed and choosing society who are confined to their homes or needing to adhere to protections because of men who have given in to the “stirrings” as the book calls it. The freedom is theoretical, but trying to use it results in the removal of choice.

    As far as Jonas giving these memories to people… These sheltered people are going to suddenly understand(deeply, feeling it) powerful new desires, and also understand the fear of starvation and loss, a fear which leads to taking and hoarding of resources to protect against loss. The peaceful society has no protections against the other citizens. With these citizens suddenly gaining emotions, they’ll be acting on their most primal desires, their most immature reasons for fighting, and their need to take everything they can in order to fight the fear. I don’t see how giving memories could not result in a drunken (off feelings of desire)’ panicked mob.


    1. All I’m saying is I loved this book and id rather have freedom of choice in my life than be kept in an ignorant cage with people deciding my whole life for me. That’s all I’m saying.


  4. That last apostrophe was supposed to be a comma. I think the new update rearranged my keyboard.

    I don’t fully hold the position that the community was good. It’s just an opposing position (that must have been held by some characters), that I feel I understand well enough to be able to hold it up and examine the other side.


  5. The fact that the giver stayed behind is *very* important. The mob I mentioned is a very plausible consequence of sudden memories, however:

    The memories were not simply looking or examining these concepts, they were of *experiencing* them, a first person living of them. The giver can have people feel what it’s like to be overrun, or stolen from, or hurt by other people’s desires. This could result in a community of people that understand, treat, and feel each other person as they would themselves. This could very well be a group that acts kindly and fairly towards all not because of external control, but because of the internal feeling of everyone’s complete personhood.


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