“Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the Receiver of Memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.”
The first edition was published in 1993 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. I’m reading what seems to be the twentieth-anniversary edition, with a foreword by Lowry.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls; Reading with DID (Thread)
I just woke up, so I might be all over the place, but I’m hoping I can give a more honest and thoughtful review this way.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls (henceforth TCFRHG) is a novel by journalist Anissa Grey, a queer woman of color. It was published this year by Penguin Random House, and we learned about it through The New York Times Book section.
#YouKnowItsBradburyIf the story ends with the protagonist falling to his feet, tearing his hair out and screaming at the sky
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Asking for financial help
We won’t be able to make our rent on June 1 because we don’t receive our next check until June 6 (we’re an English teacher in Germany but are not yet eligible for benefits). Our bank account is currently overdrafted and we‘ll be short 300€ ( 451.63 CDN / 335.93 USD) for rent.
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#introduction Laura, she/her, illustrator in the Crystal Millennium system. We’ve been drawing since an early age, but I draw most often.
I just moved from You Doodle Pro to Procreate, which I’m hoping is more intuitive and allows for a better workflow. When I’m not using digital tools, I like printmaking (especially copper plate etching), colored pencils, and watercolor paints. My influences are superheroes, magical/fantasy girls, and surrealist horror (NBC’s Hannibal, HI-FRUCTOSE magazine).
@Noah I feel that it’s as important to be critical of the curriculum that teaches the literature as it is to be critical of the literature itself. If you were assigned The Giver, I’d like to hear your thoughts. If you weren’t, I’d like to hear your thoughts anyway!
There’s just something off about this book – it’s not only the worldbuilding flaws. Maybe I’m biased because of the way in which our school exposed us to it.
@Noah I have a historian in my system who related very strongly to the Giver and Jonas. She expressed the loneliness of recognizing trauma and patterns throughout history – how isolating it is to “remember” while everyone around you seems blithely unaware.
It is really unfortunate that our assigned reading of The Giver was limited to discussions about conformity and difference. And, of course, euthanasia, which seemed to be our middle school’s favorite topic (I don’t know why).
@Noah There is, of course, the possibility that elements of The Giver we now consider exhausted tropes were actually fairly novel (no pun intended) for the time period. The entire concept of writing for young adults was still relatively new in 1993.
It’s a shame, because there are parts of the book that I really like. The idea of historian as telepath, in particular, is really interesting to me, but it’s overshadowed by the mandatory classroom debate of “Sameness = Bad? (Yes)”.
@Noah I could go on, but my opinion is best summarized thusly: Lowry had a lot of research to do and I don’t get the sense that she accomplished that.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about her fictiverse that, for me, crosses the line from derivative to mildly plagiaristic. I think she needed to read the novels from which she was (perhaps unwittingly) drawing inspiration – all of them.
I also have trouble with Jonas being singled out as the new Receiver. I understand the need for narrative tension, but again, that’s just...not consistent with the world of conformity and sameness that Lowry is trying to impress upon the reader. Taking note of someone as “special” as Jonas in a public ceremony doesn’t seem canonically kosher.
So there are a number of issues with Lowry’s worldbuilding.
One that has stuck with me is the play-fighting scene. If there is no more war and the community doesn’t hunt prey, AND they don’t have archery as a recreational activity...then their children shouldn’t really know to mimic weapons in play. At the very least, an adult should be present to discourage that kind of behavior, which would be in keeping with this dystopia.
@Noah Here it is: the scarcity myth. At one point, the community pushed for more births so that there would be more Laborers; the Giver said no because, pre-apocalypse, more people meant fewer resources.
I can definitely understand why more literate readers would get annoyed with this assumption.
The Giver; ABA
I don’t condone the diagnosing of characters, but I think Asher has dyslexia or something similar because, at age three, he suffered repeated physical punishments for constantly confusing the same word.
Wow, forcing people to recount their dreams every day seems like an excellent way to get citizens to report on each other for suspicious subconscious thoughts.
The role of the Speaker is to deliver community-wide announcements and to aggressively subtoot children
Bookworm and writer in the Crystal Millennium system. He/him.
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