The Giver

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Do you see things in black and white or do you see shades of gray? Or both. Literally. If you live in the world of The Giver, by Lois Lowry, then you do. Unless you are one of the lucky (Possibly unlucky?) blue-eyed minority who can see beyond. This week’s podcast is a colorful discussion of the world of sameness, brought to you by insightful blue-eyed siblings who have a strangely hard time keeping memories of a book they just finished reading. The professional quality of the broadcast is quite evident this week with special guest appearances from sirens, motorcycles, and the neighbor’s dog.

The music bump this week is “Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan. If you read the book closely enough, the joke will be apparent. If you have no idea what that means, drop a comment.

04 – The Giver – You Have Been Released

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4 thoughts on “The Giver

    Kathryn Weller said:
    April 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    This was really interesting. I remembered thinking that Rosemary was definitely the Giver’s daughter, maybe I wasn’t into metaphors when I read it the first time and just took it all literally. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, can you explain the “Hey Nineteen” joke? I’m assuming someone’s number is 19 but I don’t remember.
    I’m starting to look forward to these, you guys are doing a great job! I’m excited for Dracula, I wrote a paper on it senior year.

      Ben and Gabs Roman responded:
      April 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      You nailed it, Kathryn. “Someone’s” number IS nineteen. Jonas, as it so happens.

    Anthony Funari said:
    April 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I like how you raised the question of where does this community originate from. I think it is a bit of a convention of dystopic literature that we, the readers, don’t get sense of how the world ends up being the way it is. Oceania of Orwell’s 1984, Panem of The Hunger Games, Jonah’s community in The Giver, or the Guy Montag’s book-burning world – how society gets to this point is not as important as what it is like to live in this world.

    Maria said:
    April 13, 2012 at 9:27 am

    So I read this book in 6th grade, and I barely remember it. But I listened to the podcast anyway, and it all sounded vaguely familiar until you got to the part at the end where he runs away and its snowing and there’s music. I didn’t remember reading this part per se, but I do remember the imagery and contemplating “Did that really happen”. I very distinctly remember that I decided in 6th grade that I thought for sure that he had been euthanized. It’s really strange to remember a thought from the sixth grade in that type of clarity. It’s like having the same dream twice. I was pretty conviced at the time though. I had the same reactiion that you did, there is no way a boy on a bicycle didn’t get caught be a helicopter. But I like your point about the music… how could he know what snow and music and were? But also, he could just be imagining what he thinks is snow and music, things he’s never seen or heard. I imagine things I’ve never seen or heard based on descriptions from others. And how do we know that what he percieves as music is really music? Just saying.

    @Anthony: I agree with your point and I would like to add another thought: I think that what makes these future worlds so powerful is many of the things in those worlds resemble very closely things in our current world, with maybe a slight variation, or some exaggeration. For example, the world of the giver reminds me very much of suburbia, or that shopping mall in Vegas where they painted the ceiling to look like the sky and they have everything indoors (including gardens). Or Panem – where people watch a sporting event for fun, and reality TV shows where people can help pick the winner. I think its these resemblances that make these future worlds so powerful to us. I sit and think “Hmmm how far of a stretch is that really?” And then I get scared.

    As always, love your podcast! I think I have the humanities sequence at MU to blame for my addiction to these podcasts, it’s just like that class was and I love it!

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