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The Giver, by Lois Lowry: Decisions and Personal Empowerment Essay

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Lois Lowry’s The Giver considers something the world takes for granted: personal empowerment. These simple day-to-day decisions create what the world is. Without self-empowerment and right to believe in a personal decision, what is the human race? The world can only imagine, as Lois Lowry does in The Giver. She asks: What if everything in life was decided by others? What if spouses, children, the weather, education, and careers were chosen based upon the subjects’ personality? What if it didn’t matter what the subject thought? Jonas, the Receiver, lives here. He eats, sleeps, and learns in his so-called perfect world until he meets the Giver, an aged man, who transmits memories of hope, pain, color, and love. Jonas then escapes his Community with a newborn child (meant to be killed), hoping to find a life of fulfillment. On the way, he experiences pain, sees color, and feels love. Irony, symbolism, and foreshadowing are three literary devices used to imply the deeper meaning of The Giver.

One literary element that is cleverly written into the novel is irony. Jonas’ life is supposedly perfect, in an environment with everyone’s life controlled and documented by the Elders. The weather, the marriages, the child selection, the population, and the education are decided by the Elders. Even the career is provided for them; each December at the Ceremony of 12, the new recruits receive the career that they will continue with for the rest of their working adult life’s’. The job Jonas receives is the most difficult one, the Receiver, who has the duty of containing all of the intense experiences of life. Ironically, Jonas doesn’t enjoy this; he instead feels that the job is too painful for him. Yet the Elders’ decisions, although chosen w...


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...wined into her writing the answer becomes clear. Society has boundaries and limits that are acknowledged should not be crossed. Yet humans have a craving to do so. Each time the fine line between acceptable and inappropriate is crossed, a new boundary is created; therefore a new crave develops and the cycle never ends. The Giver takes place after the last limit was broken, when the Elders took away some of the most beautiful pleasures of life, and the last line was drawn with all memories of freedom stored away. And this storage happens to be a human mind, the Giver, passing it down to the next Reciever into conceivably the end of time. Jonas disagrees; the memories he has seen, the pain he has endured, the beauty he has experienced must be shared. He wants the whole world to know the full extent and intention of life that God created. The boundary must be crossed.



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