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The Giver and Never Let Me Go for Taylor’s N61

29 May

 Prezi presentation about the similarities in the themes of The Giver and Never Let Me Go:

http://prezi.com/6o5e1c81nb75/lois-lowrys-the-giver-and-kazuo-ishiguros-never-let-me-go/

 

Themes of The Giver that can also be found in Never Let Me Go:

Release

Though few people know it, the word “release” actually refers to death—or murder—in Jonas’s society, but throughout The Giver, the word means different things to different people. At the beginning of the novel, most of the characters truly believe that people who are released are physically sent to Elsewhere, the world beyond the limits of the community. Release is frightening or sad because no one would want to leave the community, not because it involves violence or death. Later, when Jonas discovers the real meaning of release, the word becomes ominous. At the end of the novel, however, when Jonas escapes despite the fact that he is forbidden to request release, he changes the meaning of the word once again, restoring its original meaning—an escape from the physical and psychological hold of the community.

The Importance of the Individual

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 carve out a distinct identity for themselves, differentiating themselves from their parents and peers. Among other things, The Giver is the story of Jonas’s development into an individual, maturing from a child dependent upon his community into a young man with unique abilities, dreams, and desires. The novel can even be seen as an allegory for this process of maturation: twelve-year-old Jonas rejects a society where everyone is the same to follow his own path. The novel encourages readers to celebrate differences instead of disparaging them or pretending they do not exist. People in Jonas’s society ignore his unusual eyes and strange abilities out of politeness, but those unusual qualities end up bringing lasting, positive change to the community.

The Importance of Memory

One of the most important themes in The Giver is the significance of memory to human life. Lowry was inspired to write The Giver after a visit to her aging father, who had lost most of his long-term memory. She realized that without memory, there is no pain—if you cannot remember physical pain, you might as well not have experienced it, and you cannot be plagued by regret or grief if you cannot remember the events that hurt you. At some point in the past the community inThe Giver decided to eliminate all pain from their lives. To do so, they had to give up the memories of their society’s collective experiences. Not only did this allow them to forget all of the pain that had been suffered throughout human history, it also prevented members of the society from wanting to engage in activities and relationships that could result in conflict and suffering, and eliminated any nostalgia for the things the community gave up in order to live in total peace and harmony. According to the novel, however, memory is essential. The Committee of Elders does recognize the practical applications of memory—if you do not remember your errors, you may repeat them—so it designates a Receiver to remember history for the community. But as Jonas undergoes his training, he learns that just as there is no pain without memory, there is also no true happiness.

Invisible oppressors and surveillance

Being drawn to and fearing the truth at the same time

Art is important to the human experience

 Works Cited:

Huckaby, Lindsey.  “Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.” Prezi.   23 April 2014.  Web.

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Giver.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2003. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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