When you hear the word, “utopia,” you would generally believe that there’s no such thing, impossible to seek something so perfect. We all have those good and bad days. While perhaps that’s true, but in the novel, The Giver, we realize and understand why. It is impossible to take away all threats such as pain, fear, war, and hatred, to mainly create peace among the people. The Giver is written from the perspective of Jonas; an eleven-year-old boy living in a futuristic society that eliminated feelings and memories.
Doing so, they pretty much isolated the people living in the community by making them all the same, “sameness.”Everyone is also incredibly polite. Anyways, Jonas becomes the Receiver of Memory, the most important person who stores all the past memories before sameness to aid the community in making hard decisions with which they are unfamiliar with. The community lacks any color, memory, climate, or terrain, all in the effort to preserve the structure and a true sense of equality. Jonas, unlike others, has the ability to see beyond. And the story shifts from there. While there are many themes in the novel, I understood more and more about memory and why it’s so incredibly important.
Memories are important, they are the very key to success. The idea the community had in mind is that without memory, one will not experience painful feelings such as grief, regret, or other feelings that could create conflict with others. While there are bad feelings and memories; there are also many happy ones which provide comfort and love. Somehow, Jonas-bonus was able to have memories of color, creating a plot from there.
It all started one day during school, Asher and Jonas were playing catch with an apple. Just for a glimpse, it changed. Not knowing what to say, he demanded pills to take control and stop these recurring changes. While the Giver explains the backstory of the community, we understand more about the societies past and their decision to create or alter to, sameness. Apparently, they eliminated choices because they aren’t safe. For example, the author states, “There’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, all alone, I re-experience them again and again. It is how wisdom comes. And how we shape our future.” (98) From this detail, we better understood the importance of the Receiver of Memory. While the society made the decision of eliminating feelings, they chose the one worthy person who could eventually overcome the pain and use it for the better good of the community. Pretty much, the pain and dirty work go to Jonas and the Giver, or any other Receiver of Memory. As held in high honor, all he does is aid the community with wisdom so they can react a certain way.
What they don’t realize is what would happen after the memories are exposed. Memories can’t be all bad. Sure you might remember something bad every once in a while, but I’m sure that with memories comes improvement. That’s what the community doesn’t understand. Their whole life they have been living behind a rock named, “memories.”Sacrificing a huge part made the story seem more dystopian. While Jonas was freaking out, the Giver told him the truth about memories and why they were kept away, “The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it.
Memories need to be shared.” (193) The problem isn’t the memory itself; it’s the way the society has chosen to deal with it — and react against it. In addition, there is no pleasure without pain. For every pleasure you enjoy, you must suffer some pain, and the pain came from loneliness. This leads me to think, “why can’t everyone have the memories?”Our mind stores information and reminds us constantly to help us out.
And you can’t eliminate that feeling. It’s somewhat similar to dreams and what we take away from them. But because the society is so cowardice they sacrificed the truth about themselves and their past. For instance, according to the to author, “But why can’t everyone have the memories? I think it would seem a little easier if the memories were shared. You and I wouldn’t have to bear so much by ourselves, if everyone took a part. “The Giver sighed, “You’re right,” he said, “But then everyone would be burdened and pained. They don’t want that. And that’s the real reason The Receiver is so vital to them and so honored.
They selected me – and you – to lift that burden from themselves.” (142) The decision was cowardice, but it could have made sense. The price of this action is extremely high: if exposed chaos could occur, but they are filled with wisdom as well. Another example of memories came from the loss of Rosemary, The Giver’s daughter. Rosemary was one of the Receivers of Memories, but she couldn’t handle it at all. Instead, she took her life thinking things would get better. Now the community had feared more of memories. “All those feelings!” According to the novel, “Rosemary had only those five weeks worth, and most of them were good ones.
But there were those few terrible memories, the ones that overwhelmed her. For a while, they overwhelmed the community. All those feelings! They’d never experienced that before. (180)” Rosemary opened the eyes to those feelings; Jonas too tried. The community made a decision to rule out feelings for this very reason. Imagine every dream filled with horror(most pasts were filled with pain from history). The people knew the truth, that it wasn’t the same years ago. Color, music, and love. Memories are important: they open eyes, they remind us why we keep going every day to achieve that long-awaited goal, they even create new ideas to aid us.
Jonas-bonus is unlike his people. He knows and sees the unseen. The absence of color is essential to the story; it creates the problem, memory. The people got rid of memory, or color. And because he sees beyond; he’s different. Memories make us stronger, our vision and our color make us have features(with decisions). Through Jonas and his experience with the Giver, we come to a realization that all memories are equally valuable.
To understand true happiness, a person must be able to connect it with something, a similar experience, a memory. Jonas understood happiness when the Giver gave memories of pain and sorrow. Because of all of this — and knowing that Gabe would die without him — Jonas took Gabe away where he would be safe. Jonas loves Gabe, a sign of hope for Jonas. Knowing the consequences, he still stole his “brother” to create a new life for him where there’s: color, love, and Christmas.
In conclusion, memory is a vital part of our everyday life(each and every memory is valuable.). It reminds us every day why we work hard. It gives us an experience and a chance to feel happy. In with pain, out with happiness. While there are many themes in the novel, I understood more about memory and why it’s incredibly crucial.
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