"It is the choosing that is important isn't it?"
In a far away futuristic society, everything is in perfect balance. Sameness, as they call it, makes lives for the society simple, happy, and safe. Strict rules are enforced that its members abide to. There is little competition of any kind against anyone living in the communities. Language, or rather using precision of language is of utmost importance. Everyone looks the same, acts the same, and are equal in every way. Eleven year old Jonas, used to his simplistic lifestyle, is conflicted with something unusual in his community: difference.
When children reach certain ages, the community commemorates their growth by holding ceremonies. At the Ceremony of Twelve, the eleven year old children, or called Elevens, age to Twelves and are chosen for certain Life Assignments, or careers within their community. Young Jonas is not chosen for a normal life assignment like the rest of his group mates at the Ceremony of Twelve. Instead, he is selected to be the Receiver of Memory.
Jonas, astonished by him being selected, is given rules short after that permit him to do multiple things that go against the strict rules of the community. He then starts his training with a mysterious man called The Giver. Jonas learns from The Giver that the most amazing things he never had were only perceived in the past. Influenced by his new knowledge, Jonas embarks on a dangerous quest to show to his community the beauty of emotions and difference.
“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”
Jonas is the main protagonist of The Giver. Considerate, perceptive, and with the strange ability to "see beyond", Jonas is unexpectedly selected to be the Receiver of Memory. After about a year deep in his training with The Giver, the memories that Jonas is given transform his view of life. His ability to see in color, the memories of love, family, war, pain, and freedom that are transferred to him, and his experience with the power of emotions make Jonas passionate about the things and people around him.
Jonas, however, is burdened when he is told that the community does not comprehend the importance of difference. He attempted to share his new experiences with his family and friends, but failed. Feelings of loneliness and desperation began to consume him as Jonas tried to figure out a way to share those memories.
Other Major Characters
An old man who goes by the name "The Giver" had selected Jonas to be the Receiver of Memory. He serves as Jonas' mentor. His job was to transmit all the memories of the past to Jonas. The Giver was the main force behind Jonas' changes as an individual. He had shown Jonas all the wonderful, yet brutal things of the past such as love, war, pain, and peace. The Giver had also taught Jonas about experiencing feelings and how to properly perceive objects, people, and scenery in color.
Gabriel, nicknamed Gabe, is a small newborn that was taken care of at night by Jonas' father, who was a nurturer. He is brought into Jonas' family unit because he was in need of extra care. Gabe had struggled to sleep peacefully at night, but that is soon resolved by Jonas, who discovers that Gabe could be given memories. The two soon grow close.
Rosemary was the previous Receiver of Memory. Her name was not to be spoken of in the community. She is the reason why the Receiver of Memory could no longer apply for release. Her incident sparks Jonas' and The Giver's idea of how to share memories with the community.
Official Marco Beltrami
2m03d Rules by Official Marco Beltrami
Test Your Memory!
- How does Sameness affect the personal lives of people in the community?
- The rules that are applied for Receiver of Memory go against majority of the rules the community has enforced. How does that affect Jonas' feelings about the community?
- What do the memories that the Giver transfers to Jonas symbolize about life in the community?
- How does Jonas' knowledge about the meaning of certain memories change his perception of life?
- Throughout the book, multiple characters, including Jonas, emphasize the use of "precision of language." In the scene where Jonas asks his father if he loves him, his mother interjects by saying "precision of language". Why do you think that the community's use of precision of language blocks their interpretations of certain words or phrases?