The Giver

The Giver

The Giver is a 1993 American young adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. The novel follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas. The society has taken away pain and strife by converting to "Sameness", a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, as there may be times where one must draw upon the wisdom gained from history to aid the community's decision making. Jonas struggles with concepts of all the new emotions and things introduced to him: whether they are inherently good, evil, or in between, and whether it is even possible to have one without the other. The Community lacks any color, memory, climate, or terrain, all in an effort to preserve structure, order, and a true sense of equality beyond personal individuality. The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide as of 2014. In Australia, Canada, and the United States, it is on many middle school reading lists, but it is also frequently challenged and it ranked number 11 on the American Library Association list of the most challenged books of the 1990s. A 2012 survey based in the U.S. designated it the fourth-best children's novel of all time. In 2014, a film adaptation was released, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Brenton Thwaites. The novel forms a loose quartet with three other books set in the same future era, known as The Giver Quartet: Gathering Blue (2000), Messenger (2004), and Son (2012).

Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Production: The Weinstein Company
  2 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:

[first lines]

Title Card:
All memories of the past were erased.

After The Ruin we started over, creating a new society, one of true equality. Rules were the building blocks of that equality. We learned them as Newchildren. Rules like: use precise language, wear your assigned clothing, take your morning medication, obey the curfew, never lie.

My name is Jonas. I don't have a last name. None of us did. That day, the day before graduation, I admit it, I was scared. Tomorrow we'd be assigned our jobs, our purpose. It seemed everyone knew theirs already. Not me. I was lost. I always felt like I saw things - differently; saw things other people didn't. I never said anything. I didn't want to be different. Who would?

[bicycle bell dinging] Jonas!

I apologize, we're late. I got Asher to come say goodbye to Teacher.

I accept your apology.

[narration continues] Asher and Fiona. We'd been friends our whole lives. Asher was the boy who made everyone laugh. Fiona, well, she was the girl who made everyone smile.

[standing on his bicycle pedals]... Take that back! Whoever is listening, please, please, do not make me Vice Chancellor of Waste Management! Please!

[narration continues] We lived in a world where differences weren't allowed. There was no "popular." No fame. No losers and no winners. Our Elders had eliminated all of that, so there'd be no conflict between us. Fear, pain, envy, hate, they weren't words so much as sounds. Their echoes were gone, to the other side of history. I'm asked if I should apologize for what I did. I'll let you decide.

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