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The Giver by Lois Lowry

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Jason Aguilar

on 13 September 2012

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Transcript of The Giver by Lois Lowry

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry The theme of her book created controversy in libraries and classrooms across the United States since it was published in 1993. Parent opposition to the book’s treatment of suicide and euthanasia helped it reach number eleven and number fourteen on the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books between 1990 and 2000. Lois Lowry’s inspiration to write The Giver, which won the 1994 Newbery Medal, was after her father was in a nursing home. Her father had lost his long-term memory, and it occurred to Lowry that without memory there is no longer pain. Brief Summary The Giver is about a future community, where there is no pain, fear, hunger, war, music, sex, and color. The Community is controlled by the Committee of Elders. The people who break the rules, children with sickness, and people of advanced age in the community are “released,” in other words "killed". The two main characters in this book are Jonas and The Giver. The book begins when Jonas was turning twelve years old and was about to learn new things from The Giver. Jonas learns things from the giver that he never knew before. Jonas learns about the life the people live in Elsewhere, where people experimented music, love, and also suffering and war. Jonas also learns the real meaning of "release" which was to "kill." After Jonas learns that his own father had released a twin baby, he takes Gabriel, a baby who was being taken care by Jonas' family and was about to be released, with him to Elsewhere. Jonas and Gabriel's trip to Elsewhere was plaintive, but they finally arrived. Challenges and Banning against THE GIVER The Giver was challenged in 1995 by a parent in Franklin County, Kansas, on the grounds that it is “concerned with murder, suicide, and the degradation of motherhood and adolescence.” The book was removed from elementary libraries but remained available for classroom use at teachers’ discretion. The meaning of released is given at the beginning of the book-

(The
Giver by Lois Lowry, 2). “For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure” In 1994, The Giver was temporarily banned from classes by the Bonita Unified School District in LaVerne and San Dimas, California because four parents complained that violent and sexual passages were inappropriate for children. An example of murder in The Giver was when Jonas’ father makes a violent action in chapter nineteen. - (The Giver by Lois Lowry, 149). “To his surprise, his father began very carefully to direct the needle into the top of newchild's forehead, puncturing the place where the fragile skin pulsed. The newborn squirmed, and wailed faintly” An example of “sexual passages” was when Jonas had his first stirring in chapter one- “He liked the feeling of safety here in this warm and quiet room; he liked the expression of trust on the woman's face as she lay in the water unprotected, exposed, and free.” In Johnson County, Missouri, complainants charged that The Giver desensitized children to euthanasia and asked that the book “not be read in class to children under high school age.” The book remains in the high school section of the K-12 library. There was not really euthanasia found in the book, but murder and suicide. Two examples of murder and suicide in the book are when Jonas’ father kills one of the twins (The Giver by Lois Lowry, 149), and Rosemary commits suicide (The Giver by Lois Lowry, 144). THE GIVER should NOT be BANNED Efforts to ban The Giver have mostly failed. It is a fact that The Giver contains “sexual passages”, has scenes of murder and suicide, and that the community in which Jonas lives is communist, but it is too juvenile for high school students. Conclusion The giver should not be banned. The Giver has been challenged for several times across the country, but most of the challenges have been denied. The Giver should be only read by students of grades 8th and up since some passages of the book are not appropriate for kids. The Giver would be suitable for students who want to learn that the world we live is not perfect. Bibliography Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Print.

Wilson, Lanis. "Dangerous Books." Dangerous Books. WordPress, 01 May 2008. Web. 03 June
2012. <http://dangerousbooks.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/the-giver/>.

Moody, Chasity. "50 Banned Books: The Giver." Parenthetical Views. WordPress, 2 June 2005.
Web. 03 June 2012. <http://www.parentheticalviews.com/?p=11>.

Connors, Kelsey. "The Giver - The Giver Trilogy." The Giver - The Giver Trilogy. Google. Web. 03
June 2012. <https://sites.google.com/site/thegivertrilogy/the-giver>.

Bradbury, Ray. "The Giver." : Your Comments on The Giver. Blogger, 11 July 2006. Web. 03 June
2012. <http://pelhamlibrary.blogspot.com/2006/07/your-comments-on-giver.html>.

Baldassarro, R. Wolf. "Banned Books Awareness: The Giver by Lois Lowry News Blogs Courses
Jobs Partners." World.edu. WorldEdu, 27 Mar. 2011. Web. 03 June 2012. <http://world.edu/banned-books-awareness-giver-lois-lowry/>.

"Why Was the Novel The Giver Banned from Many School Reading Lists? - Yahoo! Answers."
Yahoo! Answers - Home. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. <http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080414195126AAXUtDU>.

"The Giver." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 May 2012. Web. 04 June 2012.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giver>. What people call “sexual passages” are not really inappropriate since it only mentions Jonas’ first stirring, like every young adult experiments. The scenes of murder and suicide in The Giver are not likely to be read by elementary or middle school students but high school students. ‘Release’ was not well explained at the beginning of The Giver, but it was shocking to learn the real meaning of ‘release’ when Jonas’ father murdered a twin. The community in which Jonas lives seems to be communist since everybody were controlled and were given a position, couple, family, etc. not of their choice, but my take is that Lois Lowry is against communist. In the last chapters of The Giver, Jonas rejected the way his community was controlled and went to seek life at Elsewhere. Jonas’ stirring was controlled by taking pills (The Giver by Lois Lowry, 30).
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