Welcome to our TV show "Interesting people, interesting stories".
Today I will meet a sixteen years old girl, named Fiona. She was a community member for almost thirteen years and she wants to tell us her story. At a time her best friend, called Jonas, disappeared and everything changed for her and her community. To cut a long story short, here is Fiona. (applause) presenter: Hello Fiona. How are you? Fiona: Great, thank you. presenter: Dear audience, now we will hear Fiona's whole story. Fiona: Well, I grew up in a community together with my family, if I can say to them 'family'. Two parents and each family two children. That's me and my little brother Bruno. presenter: Can you tell us more about your community? I don't know how I can imagine it. Fiona: Yes, my old community was different. I think. There existed many rules. No one was allowed to lie to anybody. But that's only one of them. Everyone had to use precise language, at the morning meal we had to share our dreams with our family and at the evening meal our feelings, we had to take pills for sexual imaginations, we had to make volunteer hours as child until we would be assigned for a job. We had to be respectful especially to the Elders. They are something like the governors. Everyone was the same. To tell somebody that he's different or something which could include that he's an individual was rude. If some one broke the rules he was punished. The worst form was the release. For nearly each age there existed different status objects. Today I know that this was really unusual and for you definitely curious. But there in the community it was totally normal. There was nothing what you would expect. presenter: Wow, I think it's inapprehensible. What else could come now? Fiona: We had no colors. We had no real feelings. We were like robots. When we got our Assignment we would do this for the rest of our life's. When my brother and me would become an adult and maybe get children by ourselves, our parents would go to the other childless people and we wouldn't see them anymore. Never. That's a reason why I don't know whether it's my family. My real mother was assigned as Birthmother. So my mother in the community is just a foster mother or something. We didn't know grandparents. We had no war. We had no fight. We had no crime. And we had no pain. I mean it sounds great but it's a high price to pay that we had no real life and family. Everything was controled. The weather for example. We had only one form of climate. The best for our fields so that we didn't had to hunger. I could go on now with so many points, but I think I gave you a little review over my life in the past. presenter: You could have lived in that way for the rest of your life, but what happened? Why did it change? Fiona: At the Ceremony of Twelve, where the group of the twelve years old children got their assignments my best friend Jonas was special. He got a rare and the most honored assignment. He got the "New Receiver of Memory". We, the community, didn't understand this job, but he started his training with the current Receiver. He had a special quality. It was named the "Capacity to See Beyond". I don't understood it, but now I think I am able to imagine what this could be. I think he was able to see some things in a different way. Maybe he was able to see colors and to feel some real feelings. presenter: Okay, so in your old community existed one person who was able to see and to discover all the things which weren't in the community? Like pain? Fiona: Yes, I think the current Receiver gave him all the memories which were separated from the community. I don't know what happened. But almost one year after he was assigned he got lost. presenter: How was that possible with all the control? Fiona: I'm not sure. The current Receiver said us that we would get some memories. He said that it would be hard for us, because they would be totally new for us. I remember this time. I was so confused. I got all the things I didn't know before. Suddenly, I saw people dying. I was at a warfare. I felt pain. I saw worse things. Sometimes I just wanted to kill me. I wanted to commit suicide. It was horrible. But there were also nice memories. I felt love and happiness. For me it was the first time. But it was a curious feeling and situation for me and the whole community. presenter: Have you ever seen Jonas again? Fiona: No. I never saw him again. He's lost. I don't know where he is now, whether he's alive or dead. When all the protected memories were over, our Elders loosed the power. All the people who lived into the community went away to different places. To places which weren't controled. I live today in London. I think our community was in a no name area. I think it doesn't exist into maps. But I'm sure that there don't live people anymore. It's a desert area and I don't want to go back. I live good in London and I discovered many feelings later on and I have my own memories now. I feel free. That's good. Often I think about Jonas. He was the one who permits me my life which I handle now. He was our deliverer. presenter: Yes I think your story is very special. I never heard something like that. Very interesting. Fiona, I wish you the best. Our time is almost over. You were a really interesting guest and I'm proud that you were here and told us some things about your past and feelings and perhaps your destiny. Thank you very much.
(applause) Fiona: Thanks. Goodbye.
Downward, downward, faster and faster. Suddenly he was aware with certainty and joy that below, ahead, they were waiting for him; and that they were waiting, too, for the baby. For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distance of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music, too. But perhaps it was only an echo.
For a while Jonas thought that the sled would not slow down, but then, suddenly, he felt an impact and the sled stopped at a big square. In the middle of this place stood a high and big fir tree. Jonas remembered a memory and he knew that it's called a Christmas tree. The tree was full with decoration, goodies and candles. It's light illuminated the people who stood around the tree. There were young and old people together singing: "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright, round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infent so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace..." Jonas felt the love again. But at this time it was different for him. It was stronger and it went into his body. He approached with Gabriel in his arms and identified some people. There, lying in the arms of a woman he saw the twin from the morning's release. Then he recognized a man into the crowd. It was Roberto, the old man whom Jonas had helped with his feeding into the "House of the Old". They were all there. Elsewhere. A young girl came to Jonas. He thought that she must be his age. "Welcome Jonas. Hello Gabriel. We waited for you," she said in a fortunate voice. Jonas was stunned. "Wh... Who are you? Why do you know our names?" Jonas asked stuttering. "Sorry," she answered. "My name is Rosemary. Here at this place you don't need to worry that we know your name. Here, we know and feel so many things. You will accustom yourself to this special place." Jonas remembered the Giver. His friend. He wished that he could speak to him, because he found his daughter in Elsewhere. If the Giver could see her, he would feel better and less pain. Rosemary took Jonas' hand and they went together into the crowd. Jonas saw the pleased faces and everyone , he knew, was proud of him and happy that they were there. Rosemary explained him that she wasn't strong enough and that there was no chance for a plan when she became the new Receiver. She knew that there must be a Receiver like Jonas who would have the strength to break out and who would find out that the community with no feelings isn't the right way. That was the reason why she wanted to be released. Later that night the people went to their houses. Jonas and Gabriel went with Rosemary and everyone was celebrating Christmas. Jonas had had so many memories and he thought that he knew everything, but there in Elsewhere he felt and saw many new things. New impressions and new experiences. Jonas didn't know how his and Gabriel's life would go on, but he knew that it was right to escape from the community. He knew that their life's would be better. And then, while drinking a hot chocolate, his thoughts flew to his friends and parents. ...
Illusion or truth? Existence or death?
Who knows whether Jonas found Elsewhere or died with Gabriel into the snow and the relentless area?
Okay, here are some explantations why I used the words and why some words are bigger than the others.
The word "Elsewhere" is very important for the last chapter. Especially, because the reader didn't get to know whether Jonas and Gabriel found Elsewhere or died outside.
I mentioned "Jonas" and "Gabriel", because they are the main charachters in these chapters.
I used the words "cold", "snow" and "freezing", because they explain the atmosphere very good.
I mentioned the other persons (Fiona, Asher, parents), because Jonas thought about them. I think it shows that Jonas has a connection with them, too, although he escaped from the community. But the words aren't so important for the chapter, so they are little.
The "hill", the "sled" and the "music" are some symbols. The first and second build a connection to the rest of the story and the third is another connection to "The Giver".
I wanted to include some contradictions, because Jonas felt very differnet feelings in this chapter. "survival" & "death". "warmth" & "cold".
The last chapter is about Jonas' last "destination".
To come to an end, I wanted to name some things which are important for the whole story. "love", "memory", "snowflakes", "choice" & "joy".
I hope it gets clear enough why I chose these words.
Jonas asked the Giver in the chapter before whether he ever thought about release. The Giver told him the whole and true story about the failed selection of the female. (Her name is Rosemary - his daughter.)
ll. 1-8: - Jonas is sorry that he wasted much time with his questions
- He asked because of the morning's release which his father
had to perform with twins
I think that it's crazy to imagine that a newchild will be released only because he's one of two identical twins. Another point is that they chose because of weight. I would say that this is very unfair and terrible.
ll. 9-26: - Jonas wants to watch the Ceremony and the Giver tells him
that he's able to
Jonas thinks about the Ceremony in a nice way. His father would clean and comfy the newchild in a gentle way. I think he isn't right with this imagination.
ll. 27-9: - The Giver tells Jonas that he should watch the video
with the Release and order it.
I think that it's weird that the community make a video of a release, isn't it?
ll. 10-29: - The two watch the video and Jonas comments it,
but the Giver wants him to be quiet.
Why wants the Giver that Jonas is still while watching the Ceremony? Jonas comments it in a good way. He explains what will happen and what his father will do because he knows it from conversations with his father. I think that the Ceremony won't be in that affectionate way.
ll. 30-12: - One of the two twins is only five pounds ten
ounces, so he will be released
When Jonas comments the video again the Giver gets a little bit angry. Jonas is curious about the Ceremony. Because of the Giver's comments suspense is created. By this way: My first impression when I read about "Release" was that it would be something like death. Will they kill the newchild?
ll. 13-32: - Jonas father directs a needle into the top of
the newchild's forehead and injects
the liquid into the vein
I can understand Jonas' reaction. I don't want to see those things.
ll. 1-8: - The newchild goes limp and still.
Shock. He's dead. Jonas remembers the gestures, posture and expression. I think he remembers the boy who was at the field, dead by warfare. The worst memory he has.
ll. 9-27: - Explication what Jonas' father makes with the
My impressions are confirmed. There was a "Ceremony", but what will happen with the dead body? Is there something like a funeral?
ll. 28-5: - The Giver explains that he watched the video with
I think it's very hard to watch how the own daughter decided to die. She wanted to inject the liquid by herself. I feel sorry for the Giver. He loves her.
ll. 6-9(end): - "Well, there you are, Jonas.
You were wondering about release."
I think I would have pangs of conscience. I would be the one who made the Giver feel this sadness and pain again. But it's hard for Jonas, too. He saw his father killing a n innocent child.
(My book is published by "Klett" and this is the reason for the strange descriptions of lines.)
In chapter 20 the reader finds out something about a plan which the current Receiver and Jonas have considered. Both want to change the Sameness and so they decided that Jonas should escape from the community and should find and go to Elsewhere. For the community his disappearance would look like an accident. Jonas and "The Giver" want to stage that Jonas fell into the river and was drowned. He wouln't be able to return to the community but all the memories which he had already received would return to the citizens. The current Receiver will stay there and will help the citizens to handle the new situation with feelings and chaos. Jonas will be away forever and the Receiver will be with his daughter when his work is finished. His daughter, named Rosemary, is the female who was assigned as "Receiver of Memory" but she decided to be released. It tells something about the failed selection before Jonas was selected for this job.
This is a possibility for a "Wanted" or "Missed" poster. I think the community could try to find Jonas in this way.
Jonas starts to think back to his childhood. After the sad, frightening and painful memory of war he's sure that he did not want to go back to the Annex room. As well he didn't want the memories equal if they are full with happiness or pain. He starts to hate the honor and wisdom. But most he is sick and tired of the pain. But the choice was not his. He returns every day to the Annex room, but the Giver is gentle with Jonas at this time. Jonas experiences countless memories full with happiness. Also things he hadn't known before.
Jonas attends a birthday party. He starts to understand the joy of being an individual, special and unique and proud. He is able to see all the different colors.
In one memory Jonas goes riding a horse across a field.
He perceives the strong bonds between animal and human. He has already learned about the pain of loss and loneliness, but in another memory
he sits at night beside a campfire and understands the feeling of solitude and its joy.
He attends a family who is celebrating Christmas together. There is snow outside, a room full of people, there are colored lights and candles, the smell of cooking, there are many packages, there are sitting young and old people together smiling filled with happiness. The children sit on the lap of the old and they hug each other.
Jonas feels warmth, happiness and family. He learns something about the relation between children and grandparents.
After this memory Jonas apprehends that he will not have a time together with his parents in the future. When he and Lily will become a full adult, they will leave their parents. His father and mother will live with the other Childless adults and they won't be a part of Jonas' life anymore.
Furthermore, there is one feeling which describes the whole memory of Christmas which Jonas received. But he can't find the right word for such a strong feeling.
The Giver tells him that the word is called "Love". That's a word and concept new to Jonas. And at this moment Jonas desires that love would still exist in the community. But he knows that it's too dangerous.
Jonas is back at home. They are eating and he has a special question to his parents. "Do you love me?" His father says amused: "Jonas. You of all people. Precision of language, please!" Jonas' parents explains that he used a word, so meaningless, that it's become almost obsolete. Jonas is stunned. He doesn't understand how someone could call a strong feeling like love just meaningless. When his parents asked, whether he understood why it's inappropriate to use a word like 'love', he answers with "Yes, thank you,I do". This is the first lie to his parents.
Gabriel sleeps in Jonas' room for a while. He develops very well and the Nurturers are optimistic about his future. Every night, Jonas gives nice memories to Gabriel, although it's forbidden. And at this night Jonas tells him that "Things could change," "Things could be differnet and everybody would have the memories." At the end he says: "There could be love." in a low voice.
This is a first sign that Jonas wants to break free from the community.
Jonas walks to the Annex room to pass his training. He finds the Giver in pain today, normally he would send Joans away, but he begs him to take some of the pain.
Jonas finds himself on a kind of field. There is much smoke and the air smells foul. Everywhere lay groaning men around him. The color of the blood is grotesquely bright. One man in a gray uniform begs Jonas for water. Jonas is hurt by himself but accomplishes to give this men water from his container. Then the men is silent, his face and his eyes are blank. He’s dead. Jonas hears cannons and the cries of wounded men.
He opens his eyes and is again in the Annex room. The Giver is rally sorry . He can’t look at his face, because he can not bear to see what he does to him.