Monday, February 5, 2007

Annotated Bib (The Giver)

LIT405: Literature for Young Adults

I'm posting my homework, again. I liked The Giver. Not just because the protagonist's name was Jonas, and one of my favorite songs is "My Name is Jonas," although it certainly didn't hurt. I really liked Jonas, not the way I like Holden Caulfield, but I was very sad that he died at the end, nonetheless. Did I just give away the ending? I try to avoid that. It's okay, the ending is widely open to interpretation, if you'd like to believe that Jonas doesn't die. But, he does. So does the baby. Sorry.

3 more days...

Ok, here's the bib:

Lowry, Lois. The Giver. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1993.

In The Giver, Lois Lowry explores the concept of utopia/dystopia. The society in which Jonas, the protagonist, lives is without hunger, fear, or poverty but is also without any true emotion whatsoever. Upon their twelfth birthdays, Jonas and his peers receive their assignments which determine what the young citizens will do for their community, their career. Jonas is bestowed with the highest honor possible, that of "The Receiver," the only person in the community who holds the memories of the past.

Jonas embodies many qualities that would be desirable to others his age. He is intelligent, perceptive, and well-liked. His character development is not so in-depth as to exclude any readers from the possibility of becoming Jonas. As Jonas begins to receive memories, thus beginning the emotional process of acquiring true feelings, the reader will begin to understand why it simply is not possible or desirable for all of society to be the same or even to begin on a level playing field.

This book is targeted toward an audience of readers that are around age twelve, Jonas' age. While the book primarily focuses on Jonas' coming of age, it also dabbles in the science fiction genre (How does the Giver transmit memories, and how is it possible for Jonas also to transmit his newly acquired memories? How do these memories go back to the people when Jonas escapes?). Lowry accomplishes this in a way that does not distract from the plot; thus appealing even to students that do not typically have an appreciation for science fiction.

No comments: