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Old January 18th, 2017, 03:10 PM
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Default MOVIE: The Giver

The Giver

After The Ruin, a colorless equalitarian society is formed without memories and everyone follows rules established by the Chief Elder and the Elders. The population uses drugs to stay happy and on the day of the graduation, the teenagers leave their childhood and are assigned to a career chosen by the Elders. Jonas lives with his parents and has two best friends, Fiona and Asher, and he feels different from his friends. He is assigned to be the Receiver of Memories and he is trained by his mentor, The Giver, who gives memories of the world before The Ruin. Jonas learns emotions such as love and fear and the concept of family. When he discovers that the baby Gabriel that he loves as a brother will be eliminated, he decides to change his society but the Chief Elder will do anything to stop him.



IMO one of the most frightening aspects of the movie is "precision of language" which basically means censoring one's feelings or accurate descriptions for a more acceptable and controlled description so as not to stir emotion. I find this true with today's PC crowd and those who must run to "safe spaces" because of the fear of truth or to believe one is being attacked simply because someone has a differing opinion.



The community that Lowry creates in The Giver stresses precision of language. Precise language, however, in this community, is not precise at all but rather is a language in which the meanings of words are intentionally unclear. For example, each family unit participates in the "telling of feelings" every evening. This sharing is ironic because the people don't have any feelings. They gave up their feelings when they chose Sameness. Another word that is ironic and not precise is "Nurturer." Jonas' father, a Nurturer, is supposed to be a caretaker of infants. He does care for infants, but he also kills them.


One of the reasons why precise language is so very important to the community is that it ensures that nobody ever publicly lies, although at one point Jonas finally realizes that the whole community is a lie. In this way, though, the people can be controlled. As Jonas' mother tells him when he asks her if she loves him, ". . . our community can't function smoothly if people don't use precise language." The use of "precise language" in Jonas' community has contributed to the creation of a non-human society, for the people function as robots and have no feelings. Jonas' parents don't even know the meaning of love. They consider the term meaningless and too general. Even Jonas once comments to The Giver that loving each other is probably a dangerous way to live — even though he likes the feeling.



Acceptance speech by the author of The Giver, Lois Lowry for the Newbery Award
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