The Giver - Lois Lowry

Beyond the absence of pain and pleasure, I wonder if this society also lacks meaning. What is their story? Where are they in the story? Are they sealed off from the rest of the world? (The plane overhead in the opening pages suggests not.) So, how do they actually interact with the outside world?

The Giver - Lois Lowry
The story of society's attempt to remove inconveniences.

On Fridays the thought of enjoying the weekend comes to mind.

In The Giver, there is neither enjoyment nor the weekend.

Without the sun, there is only a dim sky—what's nice is there is no chance of sunburn.

The book opens with a plane flying over the community. Except the character do not know what a plane is. An unidentified flying object, then? Very frightening stuff.

This society has no pain, but no pleasure, not even colors. Is there peace? On the surface perhaps. But what about peace of mind? Anxieties and bothersome trifles sneak back into this society originally designed to be rid of those annoyances.

Meanwhile, everything is taken care of for you. Conveniently, at 12, you are assigned your role for life. Caregiver, teacher, gardener, future council member.

The main character is assigned the role of Receiver. He will Receive memories of the past (or the future?) from the Giver, who is getting old.

These memories include sunburn and bitter cold, the sensory aspects that bring color and spice to life.

Beyond the absence of pain and pleasure, I wonder if this society also lacks meaning. What is their story? Where are they in the story? It almost seems as though they are trying to live outside the laws (not human laws) of the world they inhabit.

Are they even sealed off from the rest of the world? (The plane overhead in the opening pages suggests not.) So, how do they actually interact with the outside world?

Then there's the matter of when the main character runs away and finds himself at the edge of another society; there, for the first time in his life, he hears music.


This book impressed me as a child and continues to resonate in various ways. Maybe it will for you, too.

The Giver by Lois Lowry on Bookshop.org.


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