Daniel jee / Staff reporter

The Giver by Lois Lowry was published in 1993 as an American young adult dystopian novel. The novel is the first book of a series of four books which is called “The Giver Quartet” and is about the story of Jonas, the first protagonist of The Giver Quartet, in the futuristic controlled world.

A restricted society where everything is controlled, “community,” is a world where everything seems perfect on the surface. To prevent all conflicts and pain such as wars, starvation, and famine in history and to form a perfect society without them, the community creates the concept of “sameness” and controls all factors that can break it. On the day of a ceremony in which the community assigns jobs to boys and girls who turned 12, the main character Jonas receives the special position of “the receiver of memory” from the elders, and he starts to see the truth of the society.


Conflict and pain can only be felt like something that bothers us. When we think about this word, only negative images come out. We struggle every day to get away from these things in life. Maybe a world without these is a world like a utopia we dreamed of. However, Jonas, the protagonist in this book, sees what the true meaning of this perfect-looking community is, and he realizes. Humans, whose emotions and instincts are excluded, are no different from robots that speak and act like humans. And that the world of such robots is not a true utopia. And he escapes from a place where a stable life and honour are promised to the outside world, risking death. Emotions and instincts sometimes lead to conflict and pain, but those are the points that are human and beautiful. Conflict and pain are concepts that coexist with human actions that cannot be separated from human life, and their existence makes humans human. Since humans are imperfect beings, pain and conflict always come together. And humans grow gradually through them. Therefore, the idea of eliminating emotions and instincts and eliminating pain and conflict for a human society composed of an unspecified number of humans to become perfection is completely wrong. Jonas was confused and angry at the new things he didn’t know from the Giver, and eventually realized completely when he saw his designated father euthanizing the baby without any reluctance or emotion. The contradiction of the community that was perfect on the outside.

Growth and pain

This book not only makes readers think about the connection between emotions and instincts, pain and hardship but also gives readers a chance to think about whether one person takes pain for many people and the importance of things we took for granted. Rather than just consuming it as an interesting SF novel with a distant future background, a reader can achieve one’s inner growth by considering humans and values while reading it. Although this book presents an extreme situation, it is interesting and has a lot to think about. This book, which the author wrote based on the idea of whether she can be happy if she loses her memory of pain while seeing her mother suffering from illness, can be recommended for those who want to consider it.


The Giver


The Giver book cover

Ceremony of Release

Pain and growth