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The Giver - Theme Project

Project for Mr.Spinogatti's Adv. L.A. Class, Period A. Theme: Freedom of choice gives meaning to life.
by

Joanna Zhang

on 9 November 2012

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Transcript of The Giver - Theme Project

The End! Freedom of choice gives meaning to life. The first example of the theme in this story is lying - specifically, how Jonas is given permission to lie. In the community, lying is strictly
prohibited for all people. It is never even considered, as the city is built upon standards of mutual trust and precision of language. However, Jonas is given this privilege as part of his
assignment as the new Receiver of Memory.The author's intended purpose in doing so was to plant the unsettling idea into Jonas's mind (and thereby, the reader's) that perhaps, this "utopia" was not so utopian as it had first seemed.
The Choice to Lie The Gamble of Choice "I was thinking: what if we could hold up things that were bright red, or bright yellow, and he could choose?" - pg. 93, Chapter 13 Rosemary & Assisted Suicide Throughout the book, one of the most mentioned things is "release." "Release" is later revealed to be death - euthanasia for the old or ill, and to some, cold-blooded murder to those who make one too many mistakes, such as the unfortunate pilot in Chapter 1. Again, this ends up coming back to the main theme of choice, especially after the minor plot arc of Rosemary, the Giver's daughter, is resolved. She chooses to voluntarily inject herself with the poison she knows will bring her to a swift end - and because of her position as Receiver, she had the choice to do so if she desired. Freedom of choice, though a bit grim, is definitely illustrated here, as Rosemary makes a point that even we, in the real world, should not ignore: We should never deny someone their right to choose, even if their choice may harm themselves. Joanna Zhang, Sophia Lin,
Harrison Chang, Ameer Alameddin The Giver - Theme Project In The Giver, one of the main prevalent themes in the story was the emphasis on the right to choice, no matter what kind. Throughout the plot, this is emphasized in a variety of ways, including Jonas's permission to lie, Rosemary's request for assisted suicide, and Jonas's decision to escape their oppressive community. However, the first time this is touched upon is in one of Jonas's earliest discussions with The Giver about the concept of color, and how even the smallest choices are important, for having the people knowing of the concept of choice itself was by far, the most dangerous thing that could happen. Connect It! In the novel, many references are made to "wisdom," though in the context of the book, it does not mean, exactly, the same thing as we perceive it today. When Jonas gains "wisdom," it means that he understands and has learned from their past, and therefore can apply it to understand the dire situation that he and his fellow citizens are in. In this case, when he first gains the ability, or choice, to lie, it is almost the same as a small child discovering that yes, they could get away with a white lie - and the wondrous part is that people would believe them. It is astonishing for Jonas to realize, and yet, inwardly he is not surprised - after all, why would anyone have a reason to distrust him? The second example of the theme was shown in this scene, Jonas discusses the freedom of choice for the first time with The Giver. This is truly, the first time Jonas encounters the possibility of true free will, and instinctively he clings to the idea. Even though he does not know why, he is passionate about the fact that everybody should have those same rights. At the end of the discussion, he decides that it was better - safer - to have choices made for him, but as he describes it himself, he is left with a "feeling of frustration." Even though he concedes defeat at his own hands in regards to the argument, this plants a seed in his mind, one that eventually culminates in his need to escape the community in hopes of a better life "Elsewhere." "8. You may lie." - pg. 65, Chapter 9 Connect It! Personally, I think that the frequent references to "Sameness" and choice in the novel was similar to the popular movie trilogy "The Matrix." In both, people are living in a "fake" world where unbeknownst to them, all their choices are pre-determined. Also, at the end of both stories, a revolution of sorts happens, due to a select few people who realize the truth about their world. Both also have the concept of pills as a symbol throughout the plot - though herein lies the difference, as in "The Matrix," the pills reveal the truth, while in The Giver they simply hide it. "...Rosemary told them that she would prefer to inject herself." - p. 142, Chapter 19 Connect It! Unlike the community illustrated in the book, assisted suicide is very much a controversial topic in our society. On one hand, modern medicine gives us the power to artificially prolong one's life - though also their pain, should they have any sort of debilitating physical condition. The critical question lies here - should we have the power to put them out of their misery, as it were, or would that just be tried and true murder? The Great Escape "He wept now because he could not save Gabriel. He no longer cared about himself." pg. 163, Chapter 22 During this scene, the main theme is most clearly shown, and culminates into the final climax of the plot. Jonas had a choice - he could have stayed in his dreary world where he would have lived to a ripe age, though perhaps he would never truly be happy. Of course, the other choice was the one he chose - to risk it all, to gamble not only his, but also Gabriel's life on the assumption that perhaps, there were better places in the mysterious "Elsewhere." Maybe more importantly, it gave Jonas a purpose that he was missing in his community - to protect Gabriel. By the time that this quote appeared in the book, Jonas no longer cared about his own well-being, which was a consequence of his choice to run away - his choice to save Gabriel from a early death. Connect It! This raises a very interesting point - what if people lost their freedom of choice now, similar to the community in Jonas's society? Would our generation be able to gain wisdom, perhaps, like Jonas did? Or would we simply resign ourselves to a life similar to Fiona's or Asher's? What do you think you would do? Thanks for watching!
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