Could anyone ever imagine living in a community where everything is decided for them? Their family, their spouse, and even their job. Thatr’s the kind of life that Jonas has been living, and so has the rest of his community. But as he has just been selected to be the next Receiver of memory, Jonas discovers new plans for himself as he trains to be the successor of The Giver. While reading through Jonas inspiring journey, there are three important themes that everyone could learn from.
A prominent theme in The Giver is without pain, there wouldnt be happiness. Now he became aware of an entirely new sensation: pinpricks? No, because they were soft and without pain…The sensation made him smile(Lowry 102). While Jonas experiences a memory from The Giver, he understands what it is like to be truly happy as he has been through troubling pain before. Life here is so orderly, so predictable•so painless. Itr’s what theyve chosen(Lowry 130). The Giver elaborates the idea that life in his community has always been simple. No one knows what pain is or what it feels like, so the happiness of anyone in Jonas community is never deeply considered. But if Jonas hadnt ever experienced the most painful moments in his life, he might not have enjoyed the happiest.
Another theme that is very significant to the story is with experience, also comes wisdom.Therer’s much more. There’s all that goes beyond all that is Elsewhere and all that goes back, and back, and back. I received all of those, when I was selected. And here in this room, I re-experience the memories again and again. It is how wisdom comes and how we shape our future(Lowry 98). While Jonas is in his training, the Giver develops the idea that wisdom comes from experience. He explains that the knowledge that we acquire can also be taught from memories that we keep of the past. Looking over them can help us to determine our future. I used my wisdom, from the memories. I knew that there had been times in the past•terrible times•when people had destroyed others in haste, in fear, and had brought about their own destruction(Lowry 141). Jonas and the Giver discuss previous hardships that fell over the community, and the Giver explains how the memories helped him to guide others. While the people of his community were in fear, he had acknowledged the wisdom he had acquired from memories. He had gained wisdom from those memories in order to help others in times of destruction. If he hadnt, The Giver and the rest of his community might not have been as orderly and peaceful as they are now.
Overall, the theme that stood out the most in the novel, The Giver, is without change, the world would resort to sameness. Well If everythingr’s the same, then there arent any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!(Lowry 123). For the majority of us, making decisions is a way of life. Jonas exclaims that he wants to wake up in the morning and make choices of his own, and not have his community decide everything for him. Sometimes I wish theyd ask for my wisdom more often•there are so many things I could tell them; things I wish they would change. But they dont want change(Lowry 130). The Giver points out that the people in his community decided to go to sameness. No one is special or stands out. Even though the Giver does believe that the community should make decisions for the people, he also thinks that the people should be able to guide the community to make the right choices. He implies that even he would like to give the community some of his own wisdom. Living in a world where nothing changes is difficult for Jonas, and Im sure it would be equally as difficult for anyone else. But by making a change yourself, you gain the knowledge of knowing that you did something to keep the uniqueness of two separate things, and resist the sameness of everything else.
All in all, The Giver is an inspiring novel which can teach us many valuable lessons. Jonas learns that to truly understand happiness, he also has to know what it means to be in pain. He figures out that to endure hardships in the future, he will have to use his wisdom that will come from his experiences. To want change is one thing, but to change something yourself is another. Throughout the story Jonas exaggerates that he wants his life to be different from others, and wants to live in a place where he gets the opportunity to decide things for himself. One lesson to take out from Jonas story is to always guide yourself towards the right decision, and to not let anyone ever take your opportunity to decide away.
Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
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