The Giver is perhaps one of the reasons why dystopian novels are suddenly gaining popularity these days.
The Giver gives us a break from the usual fantasy adventure, sci-fi and thriller books that we've come to love. The Giver brings us into a whole new world wherein the community just feels creepy and alien.
In the Giver, we followed the story of Jonas, an ordinary boy who got the initial shock of his life when he was appointed as the successor of the "The Receiver of Memories." Jonas and all the members perfect community do not feel pain nor the depth of emotions nor experience dreams. They were like robots trapped in a human's body where everything is just perfectly organized. Where your roles in the community are dictated not by your choices but by the community officials. Although, they do not hurt each other and piously follow the rules of the officials, they do not know the real feeling of love, anger, sadness and most of all, the feeling of real happiness. All they have is a superficial emotion, dictated by the rules of the Society.
Jonas and the rest of the community were like puppets imprisoned in an invisible wall. However, to maintain this kind of Sameness among the community and to ensure that when a seemingly unresolvable issue arise, they created a way to counter it. And this is the very reason why the community ensures that there's one person appointed to become the Receiver of Memories of the past, before everything was converted to Sameness. When issues arise and they face difficulty in decision making, they will only have to consult the Receiver of the Memory.
When the old Receiver is about to retire, Jonas was chosen to take his place. The existing Receiver now becomes "The Giver of Memories."
It is then that Jonas realized the kind of life they were all missing. The past memories that been given to him were like a breath of new life. Realizations came to him that his world is far from what real life is. And so at the end of the book, he escaped to live a life that is imperfect and yet there is freedom of choice, freedom to experience a whole lot of things... freedom from an imprisoned life.
The Giver is an absolutely captivating and yet scary book. What I did learn from it? A whole lot of things. Respect for cultural diversity. A lot more appreciation to this crazy world. Appreciation that while we experience hardships through our lives as contrary to the Society, it made us resilient and a lot more invulnerable to pressures.
This is life and no matter how unfair and crazy it is, we still need to be thankful that there's still a silver lining out there... the colors, the individuality of every people, the different things that make us happy and most of all, the authenticity of just being human.
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