Author of the giver biography of michael
The wave of nostalgia combined with the red sled on the snow - of course it's red. Using his ability to "see beyond," a gift that he does not quite understand, he finds a sled waiting for him at the top of a snowy hill. They based them on the political events of the times, presented with realism and careful psychology.
Throughout that process, we would consult with Lois, send her drawings, ask her which ones felt right, send her photos of costumes. Even though we were expanding and changing what was in the book, we were doing it through the filter of the author, allowing her to guide us toward making decisions that were consistent with her vision. Hard to imagine an author asking for more than that. Guided by this experience, what does a filmmaker owe an author? There are different ways of looking at that question. By contract, the filmmaker owes the author nothing.
In Conversation with The Giver's Michael Mitnick
I had two previous films made in which I never talked to the filmmakers. One changed the title so nobody else recognized it either. In this case, despite that they had no obligation to do so, they showed enormous courtesy. I probably was of some help, but it was gratifying to have my opinions sought, sometimes have my advice followed and sometimes have it ignored and rightly so.
To be part of the process was fascinating. Whether they owed me that? Certainly not legally, but I was grateful to be included. An author open to collaboration and change creates opportunities for surprises.
She brings a gravity to a antagonist role. How did you establish that figure? Can I go first? That might be question for the screenwriters; they were the first to enhance a character who was very minor and undeveloped in the book.
There were seven screenplays altogether, and they made that character larger, layered and complex. Once they hired Meryl Streep to play that role, and she would have never taken it on if it was like I wrote it in the book, she brought her skills to make it further layered and nuanced. She did a fabulous job.
It created a very interesting conflict with the Jeff Bridges character, none of which was in the book. In retrospect, I wish it were, I wish I could go back and rewrite it and put it in because it is so beautifully done. Lois created a really strong character in the Chief Elder, but she only appeared in one major scene, the graduation ceremony. The expansion of the role took place quite organically. Lois, what was your reaction to how you felt when you finally saw the movie? It all seemed to go together very well.
This book is about a boy called Jonas who lives in a world full of order and rules. He has two bestfriends, one of them is this girl called Fiona. At the ceremony he is chosen to be the reciever of memories and from that moment his life changes I liked this characters because I can relate to him somehow.
He is smart,caring and most important curious about things. And that curiosity leads him to the impossible known. What I really liked about Fiona is her rebel side. She breaks the rules almost every time but on the other side she is caring and fights for people she loves. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Giver by Lois Lowry. The Giver The Giver, 1 4. Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world.
Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Paperbackpages. Published January 24th by Ember first published April 26th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Giverplease sign up.
How do you guys think the movie will compare to the book? Anybody seen it yet? I'm going to see it tomorrow. Josephine The magic gets lost in translation. Although the visuals were great, the movie didn't …more The magic gets lost in translation. Although the visuals were great, the movie didn't go as deep as the book's thought-provoking ideas. I was also disappointed that there were many changes made in the movie. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [I'm not sure whether or not Jonas dies at the end. What do you think? Steve Wasling This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ Though it apparently makes it clear that he doesn't if you read the third book, just reading The Giver pretty strongly suggests that the lights he's …more Though it apparently makes it clear that he doesn't if you read the third book, just reading The Giver pretty strongly suggests that the lights he's seeing are just memories and they're going to freeze to death.
I'm not sure I'd say I find that a satisfying ending but I do think that's what the author was going for and later changed her mind when writing the sequels. Personally I think this undermines the power of the story.
See all questions about The Giver…. Lists with This Book. May 26, J. Keely rated it did not like it Shelves: Lowry's book is a piece of nationalist propaganda, using oversimplification, emotional appeals, and dualistic morality to shut down her readers' minds.
More troubling is that it is aimed at children, who don't yet have the critical faculties to defend themselves from such underhanded methods. Unsurprisingly, Lowry adopts the structure of the monomyth, equating a spiritual journey with a moral one.
Her Christ-figure uses literal magic powers to rebel against his society. This rebellion and the mor Lowry's book is a piece of nationalist propaganda, using oversimplification, emotional appeals, and dualistic morality to shut down her readers' minds.
This rebellion and the morality behind it are presented as 'natural', to contrast with the 'abnormal morality' around him. Lowry doesn't seem to understand that we get our morality from our culture, it isn't something in-born that we 'lose'.
This is the first hint of Lowry's misunderstanding of the human mind. She assumes her own morality is correct, and then builds her story to fit it. She also makes the character act and think like a modern person would, despite never adequately explaining how he came up with such unusual notions. It's the same trick many historical fiction authors use, leaving us scratching our heads as to why a Fourteenth Century French peasant speaks like a second-wave feminist.
I'd suggest that Lowry falls to this fault for the same reason they do: Lowry's book ends with the standard nonspecific transgressive spiritual event that marks any overblown monomyth. Since the book is not a progressive presentation of ideas, it does not suggest any conclusion. Instead, the climax is a symbolic faux-death event symbolic of what, none can say.
Confusingly, Lowry later redacts the ending in the sequels, undermining the pseudo-spiritual journey she created. Though some call this book 'Dystopian', it's closer to the truth to say Lowry borrows elements from the Dystopian authors, attempting to combine the spiritual uplift of the monomyth with the political and social deconstruction of the Dystopia.
What she doesn't recognize is that the faith of the one conflicts with the cynicism of the other. She draws on ideas and images from many other authors: Bradbury, Huxley, Orwell, Burgess, but doesn't improve upon them. These authors created novels that reflected the world around them.
They based them on the political events of the times, presented with realism and careful psychology. Though they presented the struggle between the individual and the society, they portrayed morality as grey, and suffering as the result of individual human faults, not political systems. Lowry doesn't realize that the best way to critique Fascism or Communism is not to present it as 'evil', but to simply present it as it was.
But Lowry's world is not based in reality, it is symbolic and hyperbolic. Instead of writing about how poverty makes the world seem small and dull, she has the characters magically unable to experience life. Instead of an impersonal government, she presents a sort of evil hippy commune.
The only political system it resembles is a school, which is a neat little trick to get the kids interested. The book also suggests a creche, but lacking similarity to any real-world system, it doesn't work as a political criticism. Lowry creates this artificial world to suit her purposes, but it is not a symbolic exercise like 'Animal Farm'. We understand that the pigs of animal farm are symbolic, because there are no talking pigs. Lowry's world is more insidious, since its oversimplification is hidden.
She builds an artificial world to support the dualist morality that she's pushing. She presents the same knee-jerk fears about euthanasia and abortion that people use against Women's Rights or Health Care. Worse than these Straw Man arguments is the fact that she never deals with the economic causes of totalitarianism. Tyrants don't just rise up and take control by their own force of will, they come into power because of the socioeconomic situations that surround them. Lean times produce strong, fascist leaders while profitable times produce permissive, liberal societies.
Strong, centralized leadership simply doesn't self-propagate in cultures where everyone is clothed, fed, and housed. The Holocaust was socially about some ideal of 'change' and 'purity', but it was economically about the transmission of wealth from Jews, Poles, and Catholics to Germans and more specifically, to those Germans who had elected the new ruling party. The atrocities of war are, for the most part, committed by normal people on other normal people.
By presenting the power structure as 'amoral' and 'inhuman', Lowry ignores the fact that people will willingly cause others to suffer. Painting the enemy as 'evil' and 'alien' is just an unsophisticated propagandist method. She contrasts her 'evil' with the idealized 'goodness' of emotion, beauty, and freedom. This is nothing more than the American dream of 'specialness' that Mr. Rogers was pushing for so many years. We are all special, we are all good, we all deserve love and happiness. Sure, it sounds good, but what does it mean?
Where does this 'specialness' come from? If it is just the 'sanctity of human life', then it's not really special, because it's all-encompassing. If all of us are special, then none of us are. There's nothing wrong with valuing life, but when Lowry presents one mode of life as valuable and another as reprehensible, she ceases to actually value humanity as a whole.
Instead, she values a small, idealized chunk of humanity. If the specialness is only based on fitting in with a certain moral and social guideline, then Lowry isn't praising individuality, she's praising herd behavior. The protagonist is only 'special' because he has magic powers. His specialness is not a part of his character, it is an emotional appeal. The idea of being a special individual is another piece of propaganda, and its one kids are especially prone to, because kids aren't special: Giving a character special powers and abilities and then using that character to feed a party line to children is not merely disingenuous, it's disturbing.
There is also a darker side to universal specialness: Adults noticed that children with skills and friends had high self-esteems, but instead of teaching their children social skills and knowledge, they misunderstood the causal relationship and tried to give them self-worth first. Unfortunately, the moment unsupported self-worth is challenged, the child finds they have nothing to fall back on. Their entitlement didn't come from their skills or experiences, and so they have nothing to bolster that sense of worth.
Instead, any doubt sends them down a spiral of emotional instability. A single book like this wouldn't be the cause of such a state in a child, but it does act as part of the social structure built to give a sense of worth without a solid base for that worth.
People like to believe they are special, kids especially so, but being a remarkable person is not a result of belief but of actions.
If the book had informed them, then it would leave them better off, but giving them a conclusion based on emotional appeals does nothing to build confidence or character.
Many people have told me this book is good because it appeals to children, but children often fall for propaganda. Children develop deep relationships with pop stars, breakfast cereals, and Japanese monsters. This does not make them good role models for children. Feeding 'specialness' to kids along with a political message is no better than the fascist youth programs Lowry intends to criticize.
The obsession with individuality is just another form of elitism. It's ironic that people in America most often describe themselves as individuals when pointing out the things they do to align themselves with groups.
But banding together in a community is not a bad thing. For Lowry and other 'Red Scare' children, any mention of 'communal' can turn into a witch hunt, but we all give up some personal rights and some individuality in order to live in relatively safe, structured societies. There are benefits to governmental social controls and there are drawbacks, and it's up to us to walk the line between the two.
Anarchy and Totalitarianism never actually exist for long: It's not difficult to understand why Lowry is so popular, especially amongst educators. The message she gives aligns perfectly with what they were taught as kids, from Red Scare reactionism to the hippy-dippy 'unique snowflake' mantra. These ideas aren't entirely misguided, either.
It's good to recognize the benefits of difference and the dangers of allowing other to control our lives. If a reader believes that fascism and socialism are inherently wrong and that their own individuality is their greatest asset, they will likely sympathize with Lowry's work. However, this doesn't make the book honest, nor beneficial.
One of the hardest things we can do as readers is disagree with the methods of authors we agree with ideologically. It makes us feel good to find authors who agree with us, but this is when we should be at our most skeptical. Searching the world for self-justification is not a worthwhile goal, it simply turns you into another short-sighted, argumentative know-it-all. Lowry is toeing the party line. She does not base her book around difficult questions, like the Dystopian authors, but around easy answers. She doesn't force the reader to decide for themselves what is best, she makes it clear what she wants us to think.
Her book is didactic, which means that it instructs the reader what to believe. Even if her conclusions about Individuality vs. Community are correct, she doesn't present arguments, she only presents conclusions. Like rote memorization or indoctrination, she teaches nothing about the politics, social order, economics, or psychology of totalitarianism or individuality. The reader is not left with an understanding, just an opinion.
The baseless 'individuality' of the book lets the reader imagine that they are rebels--that they are bucking the system even as they fall into lock-step. By letting the reader think they are already free-thinking, Lowry tricks them into forgetting their skepticism. She is happy to paint a simple world of black and white, and this is likely the world she sees. I doubt she is purposefully creating an insidious text, she just can't see past her own opinions.
She writes this book with a point to make, and makes it using emotional appeals and symbolism. She doesn't back it up with arguments because she doesn't seem to have developed her opinions from cogent arguments. In the end, she doesn't show us that the structure of this society is wrong, she says nothing poignant about individuality vs. Yet nowhere does she provide an argument for why communal living or the sacrifice of freedoms for safety must necessarily lead to infanticide.
In politics, making extreme claims about the opposing side is called mud-slinging, it is an underhanded and dishonest tactic. Arguing intelligently is difficult, accusing is easy, so that's what Lowry does. She quickly condemns the flaws of others while failing to search out her own.
Even after the Holocaust, there are many racist, nationalist, violent Jews; conflict rarely breeds a new understanding. America condemned the faceless communal life of the Second World, and yet America created The Projects. We critiqued strong governmental controls, but we still have the bank bailout, socialized medicine, socialized schooling, and socialized charity. America condemned the Gulags and Work Camps, and yet we imprison one out of every hundred citizens; far more than Stalin ever did.
Some are killed, all are dehumanized. As a little sci fi adventure, the book isn't terrible. It's really the pretension that goes along with it. Lowry cobbles together religious symbolism and Dystopic tropes and then tries to present it as something as complex and thoughtful as the authors she copied. Copying isn't a crime, but copying poorly is.
Like Dan Brown or Michael Crichton, she creates a political pamphlet of her own ideals, slaps a pretense of authority on it, and then waits for the money and awards to roll in--and they did. Many people I've discussed this book with have pointed to those awards as the surest sign of this book's eminent worth. Award committees are bureaucratic organizations. Their decisions are based on political machinations. This book is a little piece of Nationalism, and so it was lauded by the political machine that Lowry supports. The left hand helps the right. If awards are the surest sign of worth, then Titanic is a better movie than Citizen Kane.
What surprises me is how many of those who brought up the award as their argument were teachers. If a politically-charged administrative committee is the best way to teach children, then why do you take umbrage when the principal tells you that bigger class sizes and fewer benefits are fine? The other argument is usually that 'kids like it'. I usually respond that kids also like candy, so why not teach that? Some people also get angry at me for analyzing a book written for children: If you want a good book, go read Ulysses! Children can be as skeptical, quick-witted, and thoughtful as adults if you give them the chance, so I see no excuse for feeding them anything less.
Kids aren't stupid, they just lack knowledge, and that's a fine distinction. It's easy for adults to take advantage of their naivete, their emotionality, and their sense of worth. Just because it's easier for the teacher doesn't mean it's better for the child. When we show children something that is over-simplified, presenting an idealized, crudely moralizing world, we aren't preparing them for the actual world.
If you give a child a meaningless answer to repeat, he will repeat it, but he won't understand why. Why not give the child a book that presents many complex ideas, but no rote answers, and let them make up their own minds?
If they don't learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff and form their own opinions early, in a safe, nurturing environment, what chance will they have on their own as adults? In all the discussions and research regarding this book, I have come across very little analysis. It's especially surprising for a book with such a strong following, but there aren't many explanations of why the book is supposed to be useful or important. This lack of argument makes sense from a political standpoint, since there is no reason to analyze the worth of propaganda: Analyzing it would defeat the purpose; political diatribes do not stand up to thoughtful attention.
Perhaps someday someone will create a thoughtful, textual analysis of this book that will point out its merits, its structure and its complexity. I've gradually come to doubt it. I never expected when I wrote my original review of this book that it would garner this much attention. I still welcome comments and thoughts, but if your comment looks roughly like this: You think you're smart but you aren't. This book won awards and kids like it. It's meant for kids anyways, why would you analyze what its about? I bet you never even read the sequels.
Go read 'Moby Dick' because you are full of yourself. If you do want to comment though, you might check out this article ; I find it helps me with presenting my ideas. View all comments. Jul 11, Kristine rated it it was amazing. I've taught this book to my 6th graders nine years in a row.
Once I realized that the book is actually a mystery, and not the bland sci-fi adventure it seemed at first skim, I loved it more and more each time. Nine years, two classes most years I've come to see that the book isn't the story of a depressing utopia. It's the story of the relationship between the main characters the Giver, Jonas, and I won't say her name. And of course, the baby Gabe. Every year, as we read the book I've taught this book to my 6th graders nine years in a row.
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Every year, as we read the book out loud together, I am amazed at details the students notice things I've missed the previous 15 timesor questions they raise that lead to further insights for not just the class but ME. My God, the things they come up with, that I as an English major, or even me if I'd read this with a book club, could never have gone that far in depth. As I began to more fully understand the book over the years, I was better able to guide their discussions, which helped them think more deeply about the book, and made me appreciate the book even more.
And by "guide," I don't mean calm, controlled, teachery, "I already know the answer" talk. My discussion techniques, simple: Once I myself knew how to be interested in this book, I knew what might keep them hooked. I'm not spoiling the ending when I bring up my own questions, because I know this book is a mystery in which things don't much get answered- they're left to linger, and that's part of the beauty and hopefulness in this book. There are still lines, moments, in the book that give me chills. I wait for them greedily, just to hear the words spoken.
I feel lucky to have been forced to read this book a dozen times. There are other books I've read a lot with my students, and this is the one that most stands up over time, the only one that keeps my interest. I truly am on the edge of my seat to see what we will realize next. Because I've seen that, even if I think I have it all figured out, some kid is going to say something to rock my world. I can't believe Lowry was able to make a book this clever; part of me thinks a work this good is impossible, and that we are just reading too much into it.
But no, it's all there, all the pieces, and she put them there. I just don't see how could she have written such a tightly woven mystery- how could she have know all of the questions the book would raise? And you know what, she probably didn't. A book isn't like drawing a map. Jonas is initially confused because the Chief Elder skipped over him. However, she tells him, at the closing of the ceremony, that he was selected for an important job, the Receiver of Memory.
Q&A: ‘The Giver’s Lois Lowry And Phillip Noyce On The Give And Take Between Author And Director
Because all the memories from before the community are all erased from their minds, as the Receiver of Memory, Jonas, must receive the only memories of before from the past receiver, The Giver Character. He is the only one who has them and must advise the Chief Elders on the decisions for the community, who are unaware of the past. Jonas begins to share his findings with his friend, Fiona.
Fiona is unsure of how she feels about having feelings, but they kiss privately. Jonas also shares his memories to the baby his father brought home to their house, Gabeand develops a close relationship to him. Jonas decides that everyone should have the memories of the past and eventually, the Giver and Jonas decide that the only way they can help the community is to go past the border of Elsewhere therefore releasing the memories back into the community.
Jonas sneaks out at curfew, and decides to get Gabe at the Nurturing Center, who is to be released of weakness. Asher tries to stop him before he leaves the neighborhood, but Jonas quickly punches him.
Asher lays on the ground, stunned, and Jonas drives on his bike to the Nurturing Center. October Learn how and when to remove this template message.
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The Giver (film)
Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. Now, through the memories, he had seen oceans and mountain lakes and streams that gurgled through woods; and now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently.
He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow-moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going. On Utopia and Dystopia. A Fuse 8 Production. School Library Journal blog. Retrieved August 21, Debate continues over merit of young-adult fare", The Boston GlobeFebruary 23,p. Check date values in: Archived from the original PDF on December 7, Retrieved August 19, Retrieved 28 December This audio file was created from a revision of the article " The Giver " datedand does not reflect subsequent edits to the article.