Book: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
When I was kid, I read this right when it first came out. It was my first true exposure to the idea of dystopia (although the word had yet to be coined). The concept of the book horrified me. The idea o f a society where there was no color, everyone dressed the same and children were bred, not born out of love.The whole thing made me realize that the future maybe wasn’t as bright as I thought it might be. It was the first time I had considered a future where everything had grown worse instead of getting better and more advanced.
To this day, this book still is incredibly striking even though I’ve read countless dystopian novels since, nothing holds a candle to this one in my mind. After reading this again as an adult, I found something even more disturbing. When I was a kid I didn’t really understand the significance of the pills that the adults had to take. I didn’t grasp the concept of love not really being a part of their world.The first time I read this book, The Giver himself felt like the horrible person. This time, The Giver was someone to be pitied and honestly I couldn’t stand the father and a society that could treat death so flippantly.
Some of the biggest differences between this book and the dystopian novels being written today is the lack of detail. the author doesn’t feel the need to explain everything completely. She doesn’t feel the need to make it probable, just horrifying that somehow it simply is. I can’t imagine an author today trying to come up with even a simply way to explain the lack of memory and color that this society is living without and even though you question it as reader, it doesn’t trivialize the fact that it is. I think sometimes dystopian novelists spend too much time trying to explain their world and not enough time telling the story.
I love this book just as much as the last time I read it and feel like I have a better understanding of it now.