The Things We Forget: The Giver Wake-Up Call
Reading gives us a tangible link to the many worlds that we may never interact with as individuals. Some people may travel to Madagascar or to the moon, but they can’t reach Narnia or Gondor. When we read Utopian literature and realise over time that these are truly dystopian texts, we encounter a kind of world that we never want to be a part of. Not because of war, or famine or disease, but because of freedoms, emotions and history.
I first read The Giver in high school and didn’t realise what it would mean to me. That’s a cliched statement, but it’s true. My first proper introduction of a dystopian society was a rude shock – I didn’t know it was a broken utopia, I just knew that it seemed a horrible place to live in. Jonas, our main character, lives a life which I would not wish on even the worst of my enemies because it is devoid of many of the experiences which make us human beings – his world, to begin with, lacks all the vibrancy of colour and history, it is empty.
Reading this book we are going to go on an adventure which restricts our senses until we can’t bear it, before letting them leap out around us. With Jonas we experience a world we will never physically touch and it opens eons of possibility. The summary of The Giver is as follows;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.
That might be an incredible daunting summary of the book – but it’s also an excellent hook! I urge you all to pick it up either in print or here in this PDF!.
Are you familiar with dystopian literature? Or is it entirely new to you – I promise this is a good place to begin! If you’ve read the book already or have some preliminary thoughts, hit me up!
I look forward to discussing this with you all! 😀