Equilibrium for teens - a really powerful dystopia
I am really glad I picked it up. Such a slim volume - but such a powerful one. It reminds me in a good way of the film Equilibrium (and it has been written almost ten years earlier than the film), but is placed in a smallish community instead of a megacity and is stripped of the violence factor (the main plot in Equilibrium deal... I am really glad I picked it up. Such a slim volume - but such a powerful one. It reminds me in a good way of the film Equilibrium (and it has been written almost ten years earlier than the film), but is placed in a smallish community instead of a megacity and is stripped of the violence factor (the main plot in Equilibrium deals with the rebels who do not take their pills and try to conserve art, music and beautiful things whereas in The Giver no rebels exist - yet. The Receiver is the only person in the community who still knows how life and society were in the times back before Sameness was introduced. People do not even know the concept of generations anymore and are contented with the rules that structure life from being born by selected Birthmothers, being given a Comfort Object (that is taken away at the age of eight) handed over to parents after a year, being assigned a vocation at twelve, getting a fitting mate after application, getting distributed a daughter and a son after three years to moving to the childless adults home in middle-age and being Released after spending the rest of their lives in the Home of the Old - all the time taking pills that surpress feelings and the so-called Stirrings (of the sexual variety). Nobody knows or even cares what being Released means and where people end up after being Released from the community. The task of the Receiver is advising the Council with the background of his wisdem, when - once in a while - decisions of change are to be made. Jason, the hero of the story, has been selected the be the next Receiver, turning the previous Receiver into the Giver, because the Council has detected in him a personality trait called the capacity to see beyond. As Jason receives more and more of humanity's memory, his perfect world begins to crumble. Is the abstinence of color, love and free will really a good price to pay for a life without pain, violence, hunger and uncertainty? I am sure I will read this book again. I am convinced the The Giver has earned each and every award it has got and I will look out for the companion novels Gathering Blue and The Messenger.
Winner of the Newbery Medal 1994
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.