Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club!
Like I mentioned last week, we’re reading The Giver this month. You can borrow a copy of the book or movie from one of our community libraries, or download them from our digital services, Hoopla and OverDrive.
In the first eight chapters of the book, we’re introduced to the Jonas and his family, and we start to understand how his town works. From the beginning, we see that children enter into a selection process, and this process decides what kinds of jobs children will do as they continue to get older. We also see that there are lots of rules that the people have to follow. They are instructed about what clothes to wear, they have to be really careful to use correct words and phrases, and all adults and teenagers in puberty must take a pill that suppresses “The Stirrings.”
Even though nothing really creepy or alarming happens in this first part of the book, I find it to be incredibly disturbing. First of all, I am incredibly wary of books that contain this kind of selection process. Whenever I read about these kinds of scenes, I immediately think about myself and how I would be placed, and it makes me feel really stressed out. I really can’t imagine how I would end up in one of these selections. I read a lot, and I like to write, so I wonder if I would be put in some sort of office job that would require me to read and write. I would like to think that I could work in a library, but Jonas’s society didn’t really seem like the reading type, so I don’t really think they would have a library. Did you try to imagine what kind of job you would like to have? I felt like the Nurturers had a pretty cool job at first, just because they got to hang out with kids and play games all day.
I was also really creeped out by the pill that all of the adults have to take. It is just incredibly weird to think about all of us taking a pill that would change our emotions or stop us from feeling something like love. That is just so intrusive—I can’t even fathom it. What did you think that of that section of the book?
In the last part of chapter eight, Jonas learns that he is going to be The Receiver. He doesn’t really understand what that means yet, but he knows that it is different from what everyone else does. Do you have a guess as to what The Receiver would do? When I first read this book, I couldn’t really imagine what a Receiver would do, but maybe you guys are better readers than I and could guess what his job will entail.
So, what are your thoughts? What parts of the society did you think were the weirdest? Do you have any idea how the book will end?
For those watching the movie, does the movie match up pretty well with the things I described above?
I hope you’ll let me know what you think in the comments section. And, I hope to hear from you again next week as we read the next eight chapters.