By: Louis Lowry
December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.
The giver is a dystopian novel that has some parallels to 1984. It is set in a society where “sameness” is the only ideology. In this society, children (1-12) are distinguished by their uniform, ie. getting a buttoned jacket, losing the hair tie, receiving a bicycle and are assigned a job (on the 12th year). The main character in this book is Jonas, a same child in a same family. At his 12th annual ceremony, Jonas was chosen to be the “Receiver of Memories”.
The giver is his teacher and transfers memories from civilizations from the past. Jonas grew wiser with more memories transferred to him. With the new found memories, he left the sameness and began to see colour and observe the world differently. He decided that the real feelings of love and family was to good to have been taken away from the current society of sameness, so his teacher and him hatched a plan to return the memories back to the society and rid it of sameness.
On the day of the annual celebrations, he ran away from his hometown and left for good. The giver had decided to stay as he felt responsible to help mend the society that was going to lose their memories. The story ends with the first memory that Jonas received, he is sliding down a snow covered hill on a red sleigh.