The Giver is a book written by Lois Lowry in 1993 and is about an 11 year old boy named Jonas living in a futuristic society. This society has eliminated all pain, fear, war, and hatred. Everyone in this society acts and looks very similar and often acts too polite. The society has eliminated choice: at age twelve everyone is assigned a job based on his or her interests and every morning people are forced to take pills to keep there mindset in order. Adults can eventually apply for and be assigned compatible partners to later raise one assigned boy and one assigned girl. The new children – which are what the community calls babies– are born from birth mothers who never see their new children after birth and vise versa. Once the children in a family unit are each older than twelve the family unit dissolves and the adults are put with other childless adults in a nursing home call the “House of Old”. Once these adults become of a certain age too weak for society they are released. Citizens are told that release means they are taken to a place called “Elsewhere” but really release means they are killed. Citizens who break the rules three time can also be released and new children who are too weak by the time they are one may also be released.
Jonas lives with his father, a Nurturer of new children, his mother, who works at the Department of Justice, and his seven-year-old sister, Lily. In the beginning of the book, Jonas is nervous and anxious for his upcoming ceremony of twelve which is where he will be given a role in society and become an adult. Jonas however, has no distinct career preference and has no clue on what job he will be assigned. But Jonas is different, he a light eyes whilst almost everyone else has dark eyes. Sometimes, objects can change for Jonas when he looks at them. He doesn’t know yet but what he seeing is flashes of color. For everyone else in the community, there world is blind of color as they are blind of pain, hunger, and any inconvenience.
At the ceremony of twelve, all the old elevens are assigned a job and are given their there jobs in the order they were born in there age group. Even though Jonas was born in the middle of his age group his job was announced last because of how importantimport his role was. He was given the highly honored of the Receiver of Memory. When the community chose to go over to “sameness” – its painless, warless, and mostly emotionless state of tranquility and harmony–it abandoned all memories of pain, war, and emotion, but the memories cannot disappear totally. The job of the receiver is to keep these memories so that the community can never make mistakes of the past. No one but the Receiver can bear the pain of the past. Because the current reciever is becoming too old Jonas needs to receive all of the good and bad memories of the past from the current Receiver who tells Jonas to call him the Giver.
The Giver transmits memories of pleasure and pain, of bright colors and extreme cold and warm sun, of excitement and terror and hunger and love to Jonas. After he receives these memories he realizes how bland and meaningless his community really is. He wants to share these memories with the ones he loves but cannot because no one in the community but Jonas and The Giver have the capacity to take in real feelings. Since they have never experienced real suffering, they also cannot appreciate the real joy of life, and the life of individual people seems less precious to them. This makes Jonas very mad at his community. Jonas and the Giver become very close because The Giver has felt the same way for many many years.
At the same time he is training to be the receiver, his family is taking care of a new child, Gabriel, who is at risk of being released because he might be too weak by the time of the Ceremony of Ones. Jonas helps the child to sleep by transmitting soothing memories to him every night, and he begins to develop a relationship with Gabriel. This is also when Jonas learns from the Giver that being released means the same this as death. Jonas’ was outraged at this and inspires The Giver to help Jonas devise a plan to change the community forever.
Jonas and his Father are similar in some ways. They both know the real meaning of “release”. But the difference is that Jonas is outraged by this fact because he knows the true meaning of life and the Father does not think much of it because he has never experienced true pain.