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The Giver

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Allison Boyd

on 8 December 2011

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Transcript of The Giver


Factual Information Lois Lowry was born on March 20th, 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is now 74. Lois is the daughter of Robert and Katherine Hammersburg. She has an older sister named Helen and a younger brother named Jon. She was married at the age of 19 to a Naval officer.
Lowry had 4 children under the age of 5. Lois left her husband at age 40, and then married a man named Martin. They were together for 30 years then, sadly, Martin passed away. Lois Lowry is now 74.
Early life & Childhood Lowry's father was in the military, so Lois lived in many different places. She went to elementary school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Middle School in Tokyo, and high school in New York City. Lois went to Browne University & University of Southern Maine.
Career Lois Lowry recieved 2 Newbery Medals (1990 & 1994), Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Contribution to Young Adult Literature, Regina Medal, National Jewish Book Award, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (1987 & 1993), etc. Some other books written by Lois Lowry are Anastasia Krupnik, All About Sam, The 100th Thing About Caroline, Gooney Bird Greene, Bless This Mouse and Atta Boy Sam.
Lowry's thoughts on The Giver... “The world portrayed in The Giver is a world where choice has been taken away. It is a frightening world.” Lois Lowry. “In the telling it questions every value we have taken for granted and reexamines our most deeply held beliefs.” Lois Lowry Lowry’s mother wanted the story of the death of Helen, (sister of Lois) retold. So Lois Lowry incorporated her feelings of her sister’s death into the book. Historical Contexts and Other Influences The giver was written in the USA in 1993. A couple of events that happened in 1993 are a genocide in Bosnia and Dr. Jack Kevorkian was found to be assisting murders. The genocide in Bosnia was between to religions, Serbs and Muslims. The Serbs actions were named "ethnic cleansing". They were killing all Muslims. This relates to The Giver because everybody is the same in the community. That is what the Serbs wanted, everyone to be the same, in their case, religion. Dr. Jack Kervorkian AKA, "Dr. Death" was a man who helped people, who were un able to do it, kill themselves. This relates to The Giver because people can apply to be released, which is basically applying to be killed. Lowry’s mother had a great impact on the writing of The Giver. She first got the idea to write this novel after visiting her parents in a nursing home, and discussing some experiences that her mother had, most importantly, the death of Helen, Lois’ sister. A similarity that I noticed is that Lowry’s mother is described as blind, frail, and living in a nursing home. In the book, there is an old lady who is also in a home, blind and frail! Another similarity between the life of Lois Lowry and the novel, The Giver, is the Lowry's father developped Alzheimers and began to forget things. One of the themes in The Giver is the importance of memory. Themes and Symbols Be an Individual
The Giver really makes it clear that individuality is a good thing. I think this because when the whole community is in black and white it isn’t exciting. Everybody is the same, sure there is no judging or making fun or self-consciousness, but nobody can express themselves. Throughout the novel, Jonas grows as an individual rather than a follower of the community. He grows to have his own opinions, beliefs, likes and dislikes. The rest of the people in the community cannot really have that because they don’t have the memories like Jonas, the experiences needed for learning.
Memories are very important
I made a connection with The Giver and the life of author, Lois Lowry. Her father had grown old and developed Alzheimer’s, and then he began forgetting a lot of stuff. In the giver, the community eliminated all pain by taking away memories of pain. Once that memory was gone, nobody knew really what pain was. They also eliminated memories of wanting to do activities or have relationships that could result in conflict, so all of the people in the community are like robots, it could be fine that there is no pain, but there is also no pleasure.
One symbol in The Giver is the "light eyes" that Jonas and Gabe have. These symbolize that even in a perfect community of "sameness" there are always differences. Another symbol in The Giver is the baby, Gabriel. He symbolizes hope and starting a new life because he is too young to know the rules of the community, so Jonas takes him on his journey to start fresh. Transferring memories to Gabe along the way. Quotes! •"You will be faced, now, with pain of a magnitude that none of us here can comprehend because it is beyond our experience. The Receiver himself was not able to describe it, only to remind us that you would be faced with it, that you would need immense courage."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver, Ch. 8
When Jonas gets his assignment, this is what the lady says to him. None of the others can comprehend the pain that Jonas will feel because in the community, they all follow the rules, so they do not really make any drastic mistakes that will cause them, or others pain. It is a very safe place. I think the receiver didn’t want to put Jonas through the pain he feels often. The assignment and description that Jonas got definitely earned him great respect. •"How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver, Ch. 6
This quote gives an Idea of what the community is like. It’s true, everybody fits in because there is no color, nobody can lie, and well, there are really just a whole bunch of tightly bound rules that MUST be followed. By “the choices” it means that if a rule was to be changed, it would have to go through all of the members of the committee, and go through the wisdom of the giver as well just to be changed. This process took years sometimes. •"It's the way they live. It's the life that was created for them. It's the same life that you would have, if you had not been chosen as my successor."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver, Ch. 20
This is what the giver says to Jonas, explaining that if he was not chosen to be the next Reciever of memory, he wouldn’t have an opinion on how the community functions, and he wouldn’t have developed feelings for anything or anyone. He would just be another face in the crowd obeying the strict, unbreakable rules. •"With his new, heightened feelings, he was overwhelmed by sadness at the way the others had laughed and shouted, playing at war. But he knew that they could not understand why, without the memories. He felt such love for Asher and for Fiona. But they could not feel it back, without the memories. And he could not give them those."
- Lois Lowry, The Giver, Ch. 17
This quote shows a struggle that Jonas faces after receiving memories of love. He realizes that he loves his friends, but they cannot give him any affection in return because they do not know the meaning of the word love, or the feeling. It is because in the community, love was pretty much eliminated when they decided to have the Sameness. Jonas is the only one who knows love because the giver gave him memories of Christmas and Birthdays with families all celebrating and hugging and well, loving each other. Jonas Jonas is a young, blue eyed, 12 in his community. He was just given the Assignment as The Reciever of Memory. Jonas lives with his mother, father and sister in a family dwelling. He seems more intelligent than his peers. Unlike other people in the community, jonas can see color. He can because as The Reciever of Memory, he is given memories of color from The Giver. Another element that separates Jonas from others is his ability to have feelings and an opinion. He can because, again, of the memories. At first, Jonas was fine with the memories given to him, but after awhile, he decides that it is not fair that others cannot have their own memories and that they can't love. He understands that the rules are protecting people from pain, but it also keeps them from pleasure. Jonas finds this a bad idea. The Giver The Giver is the current Reciever of Memory. He is training Jonas to take over his job by transferring all of the memories the community has ever had from himself, to Jonas. The Giver looks very old, but he is younger than people think. His old looks make him appear to be very wise, which he is. Once the Giver transfers a bad memory, such as one of pain, to Jonas, he feels less pain and less stress. The Giver knows all. He has the memories of millions of women, men, even animals. Unlike the people in the community, The Giver knows pain, pleasure, and emotions. His knowledge is larger than anyone's. He uses this knowledge to make important descisions for the community. He is very patient and quiet. The Giver is not very social, he rarely leaves his "comfortable living quarters". At first, The Giver is overwhelmed with the memories and the pain he carries, but towards the end of the novel, he realizes that the community is not what it should be. He thinks that everybody should be able to feel pain and love and to have memories. The Giver, with the help of Jonas, realizes that he can do something about it. Throughout the book, Jonas goes through changes. At first, he is similar to everybody in the community, respectful, punctual, he always follows the rules. Once Jonas starts to get the memories from The Giver, he begins to see colors and develop feelings. Jonas realizes that he loves his family, his friends Asher and Fiona, and the Newchild Gabe. He is troubled by this because his friends and family cannot love his back, they don't know what love is. Jonas thinks it is unfair that the only people who can see colors and feel emotions are him and The Giver, and he wants to do something about it. Chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4 The book starts out with an 11 year-old boy named Jonas. We learn that the word "released" means the worst fate possible. Also that Jonas lives in a community with very strict rules. In the community, orders are given through loud speakers throughout the place. Each family is called a family unit. They live in a dwelling with two parents, a mother and a father, and two kids, a boy and a girl. this is another strict rule. The Parents do not have kids on their own, they are assigned children. Spouses are also assigned by the government. There is a nightly ritual in the community; after evening meal, each member of the family shares their feelings and if they were upset about something that happened that day. The father of Jonas shares about a slowly developping baby. The Family unit considers taking care of the baby, but that is not allowed due to the rules. During the ritual, Jonas shares that he is feeling "apprehensive because of the Ceremony of Twelve, when all of the 11's get their assignments. Jonas' parents assure him that he will get a good assignment. The following day, Jonas' father finds he is permitted to bring the Newchild, Gabriel, home for a few nights. The baby has rare "light eyes" just like Jonas. The day after that, Jonas goes to volunteer, something that all of the 8-11's have to do. Most kids volunteer at the same place over and over, but Jonas goes to different spots everytime. On this day, Jonas goes to the "House of the Old". There, he baths and old woman, and she tells him stories. Larissa, the old woman, tells Jonas about the release of an elderly man, but in this case it is a celebration. She explains to Jonas how she does not understand why kids are not allowed to attend releases. Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 Like the ritual of telling feelings, in the morning all of the family units share their dreams.Jonas doesn't normally share his dreams, but he had a very ellaborate one. Once Lily leaves, Jonas's parents tell him that the dream he had was his first "stirring", something that happens to everyone at his age. Jonas has to start taking pills. The first morning of the ceremony, we learn morabout "milestones" that the children achieve each year: 7- a jacket they can button themselves, 8- they begin to volunteer, 9-they get bikes and girls no longer have to wear hair ribbons. The Ceremony starts with "the Naming", all of the Newchildren are given a name and assigned to a family unit. Jonas has to wait until all of the ceremonies 1-11. Finally, the ceremony of twelves. Jonas listens as the people before him recieve their assignments. They finally reach him, but Jonas is skipped!! He and the crownd are both worried, but once everybody get's their assignments, the Chief apologizes and tells Jonas he was skipped because he was chosen for a very special job. The Reciever of Memory. There is only one reciever of memory at a time. The current one looks very old and looks to be in need of a successor to train. Ten years ago, a girl was selected for this job, but failed in training. A Reciever of Memory needs intelligence, courage and integrity, Jonas is told that this job requires him to stand a lot of pain. Also, this job requires "the capacity to see beyond" which Jonas does not think he has. Jonas then looked out to the crowd and noticed their faces change in a undescribable way, just like an apple did when he was younger. After the Ceremony, Jonas feels isolated from his friends and family who treat him differently now that he has such an honourable assignment. Before bed, Jonas reads though the new rules he is given as Receiver of Memory:
1. Go immediately at the end of school hours each day to the Annex entrance behind the House of the Old and present yourself to the attendant.
2. Go immediately to your dwelling at the conclusion of Training Hours each day. 3. From this moment you are exempted from rules governing rudeness. You may ask any question of any citizen and you will receive answers.
4. Do not discuss your training with any other member of the community, including parents and Elders.
5. From this moment you are prohibited from dream-telling.
6. Except for illness or injury unrelated to your training, do not apply for any medication.
7. You are prohibited to apply for release.
8. You may lie Chapers 10, 11, 12 & 13 Jonas begins his first day of training. He goes to the "living area" of the current Receiver of Memory is much more luxorious than the normal familly dwelling. Jonas meets the Receiver of Memory who explains that he will transmit all of the memories that he has to Jonas. He also explains that the momroeis are not only his, they are the memories of the entire world. He uses the memories to bring wisdom to the community. They continue to chat and come across the subject of snow, Jonas tells that he does not know what snow is, so the Receiver decides that is where he'd start. He gets Jonas to take off his tunic and lay on his belly. He then places his hands on Jonas' back and begins to transmit Jonas' first memory of a sled and snow. They play around with the transmitting for awhile. The old receiver then give Jonas a memory of pain. After, the old receiver tells Jonas to call him The Giver. The next day, Jonas bikes to the House of the Old with Fiona and notices her hair change just as an apple did when he was younger. He explains this to The Giver who explains that Jonas is beginning to see the color red. Jonas has never heard of color before. The giver decides to give Jonas a memory of a rainbow. Jonas begins to see other colors in his day to day life. He shares with the Giver that he thinks it is unfair that the people in the community can't see color. The Giver thinks Jonas is becomingvery wise, very quickly. The Giver explains that Jonas will likely not have a family unit, and that he will have to use his wisdom to help the Commitee of Elders make descisions. We find out that the most important task Jonas has is to contain the painful memories that the community could not stand. The Giver then transmits a memory of strong pain to Jonas. Once the memory was gone from the Giver's mind, the pain becomes more bearable. Chapters 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 Jonas, after receiving the brutally painful memory, limps home. He cannot share his feelings with his family. Jonas realizes that his family unit do not know what true pain feels like. The giver decides that he is going to give Jonas memories of pain followed by memories of pleasure to balance them out. Jonas wants the whole community to be able to feel the pain and the pleasure he is experiencing, but the Giver reminds his that the community has been like this for generations, and that there is little hope for change. At home, Jonas speaks to his father about the Newchild, Gabe. His father thinks Gabe is going to have to be realeased because he is developping too slowly and is not sleeping at night. The father also says that there is a Birthmother who it having children, so he is going to have to choose the healthier twin and release the other. Later that night, Gabe starts to cry, so Jonas picks him up and without realizing, transmits the memory of the sailboat to him. This makes Gabe fall asleep peacefully. Days go by, and Jonas receives memories of great pain, but great pleasure as well. One day, Jonas decides to ask The Giver about his favourite memory. The Giver give Jonas a memory of Christmas and love. The next day, Jonas decides to stop taking his morning pill. Four weeks after Jonas stops taking his pills, an unscheduled holiday is declared. Jonas thinks about all of the pleasurable dreams he's had after he stopped taking the pills. On this holiday, Jonas decides to go outside to play with his friends, but once he sees they are playing a game of war, he explains to them how terrible it is. Jonas get's frusturated because his friends get annoyed when he explained the game. Also, he is angry because he loves his friends and they don't even know what love is. The next day, Jonas asks the Giver about releases. The Giver explains that Jonas cannot apply for a release. He then tells about the old Receiver of Memory in training, Rosemary. He says that at first, he gave Rosemary memories of happiness, but Rosemary wanted more difficult memories. The Giver tells Jonas that he loved Rosemary and couldn't bear the thought of giving her physical pain, instead he gave her memories of poverty, lonliness, loss, and fear. After the painful session, Rosemary kissed the Giver's cheek then left. He never saw her again. Later that day, he found out she applied for a release. Jonas asked what would happen if he got lost in the river, and the Giver says that all of the memories would not be lost. Instead, the memories would be given to the people in the community. He would have to help all of the people in the community deal with the memories like he helps Jonas. The Giver tells Jonas to stay away from the river just incase. Chapters 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 Jonas tells the Giver that he is curious about releases. The Giver decides to show him a video of a release. Jonas is upset because he finds that his father has been lying about releases. They aren't happy, it is just another word for killing somebody. The Giver tells Jonas more about Rosemary. He watched the video of her "release" and found that she chose to inject herself, therefore Rosemary killed herself. Jonas becomes very upset when he finds out that his father has been lying to him. He refuses to go home, so the Giver lets Jonas stay with him for the night. The Giver tries to explain to Jonas that people in the community don't feel the same way about this as them. He tells Jonas that he helped him decide that it is time for a change. The memories need to be shared. They spend the night coming up with a plan: Jonas leaves the community, leaving his memories behind. For the next two weeks, the giver plans on transmitting memories of courage to Jonas to help him get through the escape. The midnight before the Ceremony, Jonas will slip out of his house with an extra set of clothing, which he will hide by the riverbank next to his bicycle. The next day, the Giver will order a vehicle for a visit to another community, hide Jonas in the storage area, and give him a head start on his journey to Elsewhere. The Giver will tell the community that Jonas has been lost in the river, they will perform the Ceremony of Loss, and he will help them bear Jonas’s memories. The Giver then tells Jonas that he will be with his daughter, Rosemary. Jonas is forced to leave 2 weeks before he and the Giver had planned. He makes a quick descision to take Gabriel with him because he was going to have to be released. Jonas has broken some serious rules : leaving the dwelling at night, taking food, and taking Gabe. Jonas and Gabe travel all night and sleep during the day. To avoid heat seeking airplanes, Jonas transmits memories of cold to Gabe and himself. After a few days, Jonas and Gabe a far from all communities. They don't see nearly as many planes as before. The landscape begins to change, the roads become bumpy and the two witness plenty of wildlife. The weather starts to get cold and they run out of food. Joans struggles to keep Gabe and himself alive. One day, it begins to snow, so Jonas cannot pedal up a very steep hill. He gets Gabe and uses the last of his courageous memories to climb the hill. Once he is at the top, Jonas finds a sled. He gets on, with Gabe in his arms, and slides down the other side of the hill. As he reached the botton he hears music for the first time in his life. Jonas knows that inside the houses are loving families. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kevorkian/
http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/guides/give.html http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6448190.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_War http://www.inquisitr.com/110996/dr-jack-kevorkian-inventor-of-suicide-machine-dies-in-michigan-hospital/ http://evening-telling-of-feelings.blogspot.com/ http://elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com/2010/06/interview-with-lois-lowry.html http://nilofargiverproject.blogspot.com/ http://www.loislowry.com/
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