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.
I want to quote some sections from chapter 13 and explain or comment on them. I think that particulary the beginning is very important for the whole story.
"Days went by, and weeks. Jonas learned, through the memories, the names of colors; and now he began to see them all, in his ordinary life (though he knew it was ordinary no longer, and would never be again)."
--> This is an information which you can interpret in two ways. On the one hand it explains the changing in Jonas' life. He begins to see colors and gets to know that his life will never be the same again. On the other hand it is maybe a kind of sadness in this phrase. He starts to receive memories and there is no way back.
"The Giver told him that it would be a very long time before he had the colors to keep. "But I want them!" Jonas said angrily. "It isn't fair that nothing has color!""
--> This phrase shows the first protest of Jonas. He has the power, now, to see colors. I think he really likes to see the world or the community in a brighter way. He enjoys the colorful things. But as well he thinks that it's unfair for all the other community members. Everything is black and grey for them and they will never discover the beauty or the reality.
""Not fair?" The Giver looked at Jonas curiously. "Explain what you mean." "Well ..." Jonas had to stop and think it through. "If everything's the same, then there aren't any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things! A blue tunic, or a red one?" ... "But it's all the same, always.""
--> This shows that Jonas gets stronger and more self-confident. He questions things and isn't conservative to say his own opinion any more. He says what he feels and calls the decisions of "their people" into question.
""I know it's not important, what you wear. It doesn't matter. But-" "It's the choosing that's important, isn't it?" The Giver asked him. Jonas nodded. "My little brother-" he began, and then corrected himself. "No, that's inaccurate. He's not my brother, not really. But this newchild that my family takes care of - his name's Gabriel?" "Yes, I know about Gabriel.""
--> This phrase shows how connected Jonas and the Giver are. Jonas has no secrets towards him. Normally a newchild doesn't have a name befor it's sharing a family unit. Jonas father could get a punishment for that but Jonas didn't hesitate to tell this. Jonas feels responsible for Gabriel and wants that he could choose. Instead of the Sameness.
""He might make wrong choices." "Oh." Jonas was silent for a minute. "Oh, I see what you mean. It wouldn't matter for a newchild's toy. But later it does matter, doesn't it? We don't dare to let people make choices of their own." "Not safe?" The Giver suggested. "Definitely not safe," Jonas said with certanty. "What if they were allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong? Or what if," he went on, almost laughing at the absurdity, "they chose their own jobs?""
--> At this point Jonas suddenly noticed the danger in the choices. There is a change in his behaviour. (Maybe not the best changing. Now he's again for the Sameness.) But this phrase shows too, how accustomed he is to the rules of the community. It's "absurd" to think that people could make their own chices. Jonas isn't able to imagine a life with decisions. The community made a good work...
This shouldn't be a long task or something but I want to pay special attention on the stylistic devices which I noticed at the beginning of chapter 12.
page 73; line 1: "... slept soundly, ..." "... morning meal."
line 13: "Again and again, as ..."
page 73; lines 3-4: "... not ready to lie, not willing to tell the truth."
---> OXYMORON (connection between two contradictory terms)
page 73; lines 19-20: "That it was welcoming. That it was significant."
page 73; lines 14-15: "... it seemed as if there were a destination: a something - he could not grasp what -
that lay beyond the place..."
---> INTERCALATION (in german: Einschiebung)
page 73; lines 24-26: "The classes were the same: language and communications; commerce and industry; science and technology; civil procedures and government."
---> ENUMERATION (in german: Aufzählung)
page 74; lines 2-5: "How could you describe a sled without
describing a hill and snow; and how could you describe a hill and
snow to someone who had never felt
height or wind or that feathery,
---> RHETORICAL QUESTION
page 74; lines 7-8: "... what words could you use which would give
another the experience of sunshine?"
---> RHETORICAL QUESTION
---> the reader is directly accosted
(I can't give all the sources (from all over google), but I do not own any of those pictures.)
I tried to create the living area which is partial descripted in the book.
Here in more detail:
- comfortably furnished living area
- a bed for sleeping
- a table for eating
- a desk for studying
- spacious room
- fabrics on the upholstered chairs and sofa are slightly thicker and more luxurious
- table legs are slender and curved with a small carved decoration at the foot
- bed in an alcove at the far end of the room, draped with a splendid cloth embroidered
over its entire surface with intricate designs
- room's walls are completely covered by bookcases
(page 62; ll.:10-30)
Throughout the community is the furniture standard. That means: practical, sturdy, the function of each piece clearly defined.
But the reader finds out that there is a difference between the family unit's dwellings and the house of the Giver. I would say that this underlines the honored Assignment as "Receiver of Memory" and is another point which shows that the Receiver is a special and important person in the community.
T houghtful but filled with H onor, not power. E xhausting experiences.
N ew things to learn E very single day W ith happiness and pain. R ecognizing that there is more. E xciting things but C ONTROLE everywhere to E veryone. I t started with snow and a sled V ery fast. E ndless R ecovering. O nce he felt the F rigid and received this M emory. E verytime he will be M ore and more O mniscient. R eceiving some things and losing his Y outh.
Black and grey but the colour red. Feeling the aloneness right know but there is hope at the horizon. Being confident despite the situation and events. Expecting a new time. Everything will be changed.
This chapter takes place briefly after Jonas' selection to be the new "Receiver of Memory". He gets his folder with introductions and rules and goes out of the Auditorium. He feels separate and different. He remembers what the Chief Elder said about his training. (His training would be alone and apart.) And Jonas already feels the apartness, now. I would say that Jonas feels bad when he notices that the other citizens speak about him in a whisper. Worse they look at him. Jonas searches Asher, because he was ever a friendly and familiar part of his life. Jonas wants to ride back with him but he feels that there is a moment of hesitation in Asher's reaction. That makes him unconfident. Lily in contrast is solemn. At home, the evening meal is much quieter than before. His parents are proud of him because he's greatly honored and has a position of importance. Then they talk a little bit about the failed selection of a female before Jonas was selected. That makes Jonas very nervous and he doesn't really understand what could or must have happened there. Later he's alone in his room. He read the rules and feels stunned. There are many questions in his head. I would say that his feelings are very strong but mixed. He's frightened and surely sad. He's afraid but already looks forward to his training and work. There are many unexplained things and I think he hasn't really realized what happened to him at this day.
(Maybe I will post a few pictures, if I find some which fit into this situation.)
Heart-stopping event at the Ceremonies of Twelves!
Yesterday, at the Auditorium: The Ceremony started as always. The new twelve years old children are ready to get their Assignments thereby to become an adult. The Chief Elder arranged the different Assignments but skipped the number nineteen. The citizens thought that it was a mistake, but at the end the boy "Jonas" with the number nineteen had to go to the stage. He will be the new "Receiver of Memory". The committee was agreed that Jonas is the right person for this important job which is the most honored in the community. The reason why the community gets a new Receiver is that the current Receiver had this job for a very long time. He will teach Jonas in his special task. The Chief Elder said that Jonas had shown all of the qualities that a Receiver must have. Including "Intelligence", "Integrity", "Courage", "Wisdom" and the "Capacity to See Beyond". Jonas was surprised but said at the end that he thought it's true. He didn't understand it yet and he didn't know what it was, but sometimes he saw something. And maybe it was beyond. This are the words of the new "Receiver of Memory".
(This is a try to create a newspaper article to chapter eight. I hope it's okay.)
today the Ceremonies for this year started. It was hectically at home this morning. I think Lily was very irritable and nervous and so we talked about the different ages. She said that I should get the Assignment as Pilot so that I could fly with her. I really liked it, because I felt like a role model for her. A person to whom she can look above. But Mum didn't find it so funny. Unfortunately.
We went with our bicycles to the Auditorium, Lily at her seat on the back of Mum's.
The newchildren were named and given to their new family units. Fiona got a little brother named Bruno. She said that he was cute but that she didn't like his name. I like Fiona. She's a good student, quiet and polite. And I have a lot fun with her when we are together like in the House of the Old. But at the Naming Ceremony was one exception. Gabriel was missing. He didn't develop in the adequate way but isn't released. He isn't Elsewhere but in the Nurturing Center again. He will have another year to develop and will join my family unit for a time as a little temporary guest. You can't believe how happy Lily was about this introduction. She's dote on him. (in German: vernarrt in jemanden sein)
Later Lily-billy became an Eight. She was really proud when she got her identifying jacket. But I have seen her looking at the row of new bicycles. I think she would be ready now but has to wait one year.
I don't know. Maybe I will show her how to ride a bike and get a little chastisement.
Tomorrow will be my Ceremony of Twelve. I have no idea what my Assignment will be, but I'm sure that the Committee of Elders will find the right one for everyone. I'm a little bit excited and I hope that Asher will be my friend as well as after our Ceremony. And I want to see Fiona, too.
But that's it for now.
I will write soon.
In "The Giver" you can find out in which age what will happen. I tried to create a timeline with the ages and the events. (only from chapter one to chapter five, because I didn't read more until now) Hope I didn't forget something. :)
Jonas' father takes a newchild named Gabriel home. Lily is enthused about Gabriel and notices his "funny" eyes. They are similar with Jonas' eyes. He doesn't like that Lily mentions his eyes because they are different to nearly the whole community. The eyes are normally black, but Jonas' are pale. (So like Gabriel's) It isn't against a rule to pay attention to things which are different about individuals but it's rude. And Lily has to learn it soon otherwise she will get a chastisement.
Later when Jonas thinks about his certain look by his light eyes he feels self-confident. He decides that his eyes have a depth.
In the second part of this chapter Lily says that she wants to be assigned to be a Birthmother, because of her interest and love for the newchildren. But when her mother specifies this Assignment and appeals to Lily's conscience she decides that she won't be a Birthmother later. (A Birthmother has three births, consequently three years of laziness/fun, and never gets to see newchildren. After she will be a Laborer for the rest of her life until she will enter the House of the Old.) Lily's father has the opinion that she should hope for an Assignment as Nurturer.
In the third part of this chapter Jonas remembers an event which happened one month ago. He played with Asher in the recreation area. Jonas picked up an apple and threw it to Asher. He threw it back and like this it goes on and on. But one time Jonas noticed that the apple changed in mid-air. It was only for a short moment. When he held it into his hand again, it was the same fruit. Unchanged. This happened four times but Asher didn't notice it. Jonas was interested in this curious change and took the apple home. But it didn't happen again. Later there was an announcement over a speaker. Without saying Jonas' name everyone knew to whom this announcement was.
"This is a reminder to male elevens that objects are not to be removed from the recreation area and that snacks are to be eaten, not hoarded."
My idea: - maybe Jonas noticed the change of the apple because of his different eyes
- creation of suspense
My own expressions to some quotations:
page 23, (ll. 11-13) --> "No one mentioned such things; it was not a rule, but was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals."
It is alarmingly how all people have to be the same, or nearly the same. I would say that everybody is an individual but in Jonas' world it isn't accepted. You could say that all have different status objects and different Assignments but as well these things are chosen by someone else. The people in this community haven't the right to decide something by themselves. Furthermore this sentence makes clear that they will be punished if they don't follow the rules.
page 24, (ll. 8-11) --> "I think newchildren are so cute," Lily sighed. "I hope I get assigned to be a Birthmother." "Lily!" Mother spoke very sharply. "Don't say that. There's very little honor in that Assignment."
I think that this extract is different to all the other things before. Every time the parents had said that the Elders will find the right Assignment for everyone, but right here you can see that Lily's mother has some own ideas how the future will look like and as what Lily should work. She prefers some Assignments more than others. (Maybe it's because of her prominent position at the Department of Justice that she wants success for her children.)
Hey all of you! I want to give you some information about Lois Lowry (author). I think this could help to understand the background of the story "The Giver". Furthermore I think if you read a book it might be important to know something about the author so that you can imagine similarities or differences. You can find some connections.
She was born in 1937 in Honolulu as a daughter of a military dentist. She spent parts of her youth abroad / far away from her home country. Especially in Japan. One of her wishes as child was to become a writer. Lowry married young and had four children. Soon she started writing children's books. She is awarded with several prizes in 1989 and '94. Her most successful book is "The Giver". In this story she reproduced experiences which she made as a child in a kind of ghetto in Japan. "She recalls feeling herself like a stranger as well as perceiving other people as unfamiliar, strange or even outcast." Bikes, colours, smells and uniforms play a role in "The Giver" with which we are confronted in the text. (connection to her childhood) She still has familial relations to Germany (for example a daughter-in-law) and she usually lives in Massachusetts.
(source: the book "The Giver" written by Lois Lowry / pages six and seven "About the Author")
I found a video on youtube.
It is an interview with the author Lois Lowry who tells something about "The Giver".
Maybe you are interested in watching it. It is without subtitles but I think you will understand it.
Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYGGs2lxtjY
In this chapter you get to know the protagonist "Jonas" and find out in what world he lives with his family.
In the beginning Jonas THINKS that he is frightened because what he feels there reminds him of an event a year earlier. Later another word comes to his mind which describes his feeling better. Jonas feels apprehensive, because it's almost December and there will be "The Ceremony of Twelve" which every adult has been through. Jonas lives in a community in a no name area which is really anonymous. There are strict rules and any violations will be punished. The worst form of punishment is being released from the community. There exist only family units that means every family consists of two children - one male, one female - a father and a mother. In Jonas' case: his father is a Nurturer (to nurture new children), his mother holds a prominent position at the Department of Justice and his little sister Lily is a Seven (seven years old group). But this is only one of the rules. Another rule is more an evening ritual. The whole family unit sits together after their evening meal and every member has to tell his or her feelings during the day. This should help them to feel better. (They could comfort each other or explain the younger children how they should avoid with situations etc.) In the end of the chapter Jonas' parents want to speak with him privately about what will happen in this special Ceremony.
Already here you can see that the story "The Giver" is an utopian story. In the first chapter are many examples for an utopian behaviour, world etc.
Question: What could be expected from the book cover?
First I want to give you a little description of the cover. You can see two persons who hold their hands and arms straightforward. One of them is a little boy and the other one is older. I would say that he has the age of a grandfather. The used colours are a little bit dark (like brown/beige). The whole cover isn't very colourful and I would expect that the story isn't so happy. Maybe there are some very sad periods.
The persons neither have identifiable eyes and mouths nor a nose. For me they look like marionettes with no own thoughts/ideas or feelings. It seems like that they have no control about themselves and that there is someone or something who is able to give them some/all instructions. There are no feelings shown and it looks a little bit dead. It appears as if they live in a controlled world but haven't the impact in the incidents.