Themes in the Giver Essay

866 Words Dec 10th, 2012 4 Pages
Study of Themes in The Giver by Lois Lowry Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver, is a portrayal of a utopian community without pain or fear where all human needs are provided for and the elders of the community make all decisions for each individual. It is a society in which the belief system is based off the idea that pain is the ultimate evil, and so, to eliminate pain and suffering desire and individuality must be eliminated. Lowry’s purpose in writing this novel is displayed through three clear and impacting themes: the importance of memory, the relationship between pain and pleasure, and the importance of the individual. The Giver is a beautiful and empowering novel that encourages individuals to examine and explore their own role in human …show more content…
Related to the theme of memory is the idea that there can be no pleasure without pain and no pain without pleasure. No matter how pleasing an experience is you cannot value the pleasure it gives you unless you have some memory of a time when you have suffered. The members of Jonas’s community cannot appreciate the joys in their lives because they have never felt pain: their lives are entirely routine and have no variation from day to day. Similarly, they do not feel pain or grief because they do not appreciate the true beauty of life. Death is not tragic to them because life is not precious. After Jonas had received memories of death and life he saw his father “releasing” (a.k.a. killing) a baby who was not up to standards in the community. Jonas’ father seemed to express no sorrow or guilt but Jonas, understanding the value of life, is devastated. “He killed it! My father killed it!” Jonas said to himself. (Page 150). When Jonas receives memories from the Giver, the memories of pain open him to the idea of love and comfort as much as the memories of pleasure do. At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community celebrates the differences between the twelve-year-old children for the first time in their lives. For many children, twelve is an age when they are struggling to find a distinct identity for themselves. An age where they are trying to find what makes them

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