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Reading Journal "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

Alles zu Lois Lowry  - The Giver

The Giver - Reading Journal

chapter 1:

In the first chapter of the book, the reader gets introduced to the book. The chapter describes Jonas, the protagonist of the book, and his feelings, as
well as some basics about the community and his family. Jonas remembers a day, when a plane flew over the "community”, because a pilot in
training hadn't paid enough attention. In the evening, the family sits around the table, and everyone tells his or her feelings he or she had that day.
When the father talks, the first problem is shown in the chapter, because he tells his family about a small child at the nurturing center that doesn't
grow as fast as the others and could be "released”. Jonas feels "apprehensive”, because of the "Ceremony of Twelve”.
When I read the chapter, I had many questions. I didn't know what it meant to "release” someone, neither did I know what exactly the "Ceremony of
Twelve” is, or why the family exchanged their feelings in the evening.

chapter 2:

The second chapter is about the "Ceremony of Twelve”. Jonas talks with his parents about this event, because it is a very important point of his life.
His father tells Jonas, what he felt when it was the time of his ceremony. At the ceremony, everyone at the right age gets his or her "Assignment”,
which is nothing else than a job. The "Elders”, which are the ruling people of the community, observe everyone up to the age of twelve, so that they
get the job they like most. Jonas' father spent all his free time with the newchilds, so that he was assigned as a nurturer. He says to Jonas, that he was
just as exited as Jonas was now, although he already knew, what he would be assigned to.
The second chapter answered the question about the ceremony, but I don't like it, when it's that scheme. In one chapter, five questions come up, and
then they are answered each in one chapter. It' boring, because it's like the author didn't want to write much story, but just wanted to tell the reader,
what the words meant.

chapter 3:

The third chapter is about the newchild Gabriel. Jonas' father comes home from work and brings the newchild with him. Everyone in the family
looks at it and examines it carefully. Lily, Jonas' sister, likes it very much and so she says, that she wants to be assigned as a birthmother. But the
mother tells her, that the job as a birthmother has very little honour, because you give your three births in three years and then you have to work
until you get old and come to the elders. Jonas isn't that much interested in the child and so he thinks about the community. He remembers, that
every time, someone breaks a rule, the voice from the speakers says, that everybody should remember that rule. The sentences are addressed at those
persons breaking the rules, but their names are never spoken. Then Jonas thinks back when he had taken an apple, because he had seen something
strange in it, and the speaker had reminded him that "objects are not to be removed from the recreation areas and that snacks are to be eaten, not
This chapter throws in a new question. I had still questions from the first chapter, but now I also didn't know what was with that apple. I don't like it,
when too many questions are still unanswered and new ones come up.

chapter 4:

The fourth chapter is about Jonas, his friend Asher and their groupmate Fiona helping in the House of the Old. They have their volunteer ours,
where they should help with different jobs, in order to give the elders the possibility to see what job they like. Jonas searches Asher and finally finds
his bike at the House of the Old. He enters and helps him and Fiona, a groupmate of them to bath the old people. Fiona tells him about a release that
had taken place before Jonas had arrived. The elders had talked about the life of the person being released and then the person had held a speech.
When they had finished, the person entered the Release Room, where no one else than the elders and the released may enter.
Just like Jonas, I didn't know why no one else may enter the Release Room. Another question that appears, before others are answered.

chapter 5:

The fifth chapter is about feelings called "Stirrings”. At the dreamtelling, which takes place every morning, Jonas says, that in his dream he had
wanted to bath Fiona, but she hadn't wanted to and had kept laughing. He says he had wanted it so much, that he had almost been angry at her. His
mother tells him, that those feelings are normal at his age, and that he would now have to take pills against them. She also tells him, that he must
take them all his adult life until he's old and that he mustn't forget them.
I didn't know what this chapter meant to the plot of the whole book, and as I got further through the book, I realised, that this chapter is pretty

chapter 6:

Like chapter five, chapter six isn't that important to the main story. It's about Lily's Ceremony of Eight. Jonas doesn't find it interesting, because
there's nothing special about it. Then, the next day, it's his Ceremony of Twelve, and that's where the chapter ends.
This chapter is only to complete this part of the story, because it wouldn't be better if Jonas' ceremony would be described, but Lily's would be left

chapter 7:

The seventh chapter is about the main part of the Ceremony of Twelve, where the elevens get there assignments. Jonas' best friend Asher gets
assigned as the assistant director of recreation, and Fiona gets, of course, assigned as a caretaker of the old. There are more assignments, and Jonas
is happy, every time, because he wouldn't have wanted the jobs the others got. But when it's his turn, the chief elder, which talks about the life of
everyone of them, when it's their turn, jumps from eighteen to twenty. Jonas doesn't know why, and the chief elder, doesn't seem he did something
This chapter is important for the story line and not as boring as some others before, although again, a question comes up.

chapter 8:

This chapter is one of the most important chapters of the whole book. The chief elder finishes his assignments, but then he answers the question,
Jonas had been thinking about. He says, that Jonas is special and when Jonas comes to the stage, he tells him that he hadn't been assigned, but
selected. He shall be the next Receiver of Memory. Then he talks about the qualities this job requires and Jonas has. They're intelligence, integrity,
courage, wisdom and the "Capacity to see beyond”.
This chapter is, like the one before, very important. But I think, this one and the one before could be packed into one. This chapter, unlike many
before, creates excitement.

chapter 9:

This chapter is very short. The only thing that happens here, is that Jonas gets his instructions for his job as the Receiver, although they are a bit
strange. Jonas doesn't know why he isn't allowed to apply for medication, if the injury or illness was related to his work. Neither does he know, why
he isn't allowed to apply for release or why he may lie.
This chapter, again, throws up to many questions. I think, that some questions should be answered soon, otherwise the book is crap.

chapter 10:

In the tenth chapter, Jonas begins with his job as the Receiver of Memory. The place, where the previous Receiver works, is very strange to him.
The doors are locked, and after he passes the lobby, in which an attendant sits, he enters the room of the Receiver, which has walls covered with
loads of books. Another strange thing is, that the Receiver doesn't answer to his apologies with the standard sentence. He tells Jonas, that they don't
have much time, because he hasn't much strength left and they need it all to train Jonas. He talks about riding down a hill with a sled in the snow,
but Jonas doesn't understand this, because he has never seen a hill, snow, or a sled. So the old Receiver starts to transfer him the memory of snow.
For me it seems, like these chapters are the main part of the book. Now, questions start to be answered and some exiting things start to happen.

chapter 11:

This chapter is about Jonas receiving his first memories. He sits on a sled and slides down a hill, breathing the cold air. Then, the next memory he
receives is the sunshine. He lies on the grass and the sun warms him. Although nobody told him, he knows the word. But then he wants a memory
with pain, because he doesn't know, what it meant that there would be pain. So he receives the memory of a sunburn. After that, his work is done for
the day and he goes home. When he asks the old man what he should call him, since he isn't the Receiver anymore, the man says, that Jonas may
call him The Giver.
This is an "example chapter” it just gives an example, of what the received feelings are like. The memories shouldn't be described that exactly too

chapter 12:

In the chapter twelve, Jonas rides to work with Fiona on his bike, but when he looks at her, her hair seems to blink for a moment. He tells The Giver,
and he makes a test. Jonas recalls the memory of the sled ride and looks at the sled. The sled seems to have a strange look. So The Giver tells him,
that he begins to see the colour red. Then he transfers him the memory of a rainbow.
Now, things seem to get clearer. Some questions are answered and the book gets easier to understand. With Jonas knowing some feelings, I'm more
likely to read on.

chapter 13:

This chapter can be split in two parts. In the first, Jonas discusses with The Giver, how it would be, if there wouldn't be sameness, and if the people
could choose. The Giver says, that the people might make the wrong decisions, and Jonas sees, that maybe it is better the way it is. But he doesn't
give up and tries to make other people see colours, too. He fails, because he can't share memories with other people. In the second Part, Jonas talks
with The Giver again, but this time about the Receiver that had been selected before him, but had failed. The Giver says, that when the Receiver or
The Giver is "released” or dies, the feeling he or she had, are free and everyone can access them. Some afternoons, when Jonas comes to The Giver,
the old man says, that he suffers and that Jonas should go home, but one time Jonas asks him to let him participate in this suffer, because it can't go
on that way. So The Giver transfers him another memory.
This chapter should be split in two. It's too difficult to read if it's that big. There's no order. Also,I think it's unrealistic, that Jonas just believes, what
The Giver says about the good thing of the sameness.

chapter 14:

This chapter, too, can be separated in two parts. In the first one, Jonas gets more and more bad memories and so he asks The Giver why they have to
take the burden on them. The Giver explains, that the peoples decided it that way, for their own sake. Jonas want's to change it, but there is no way
to do this. In the second part, Jonas is back home and says to his family, that he could take of Gabriel, the newchild which the father brought home,
for the night. When Gabriel wakes him in the night with his whimpering, Jonas gives him the memory of a sail on a sea, and so he sleeps soundly
until morning, but Jonas doesn't have the memory anymore.
This chapter is much too unrealistic. How can Jonas remember, that he had the memory of a sail, if he transferred it to Gabriel? And even if he can,
how can he remember what a sail is? He thinks of asking The Giver for another sail, but if it was real, he couldn't remember what a sail was.

chapter 15:

The fifteenth chapter is about Jonas learning the meaning of warfare. When he enters the room of The Giver and sees the old man suffering, he wants
to leave, but The Giver wants him to take some of the pain. Jonas is on a battlefield where wounded men are begging for water. A young boy, not
older than himself, grabs him and asks for water. When Jonas gives him some, he falls back and is dead. Jonas wakes up and The Giver apologises
for that memory.
O.K. Just another whole chapter just to tell one memory. It's getting boring now. Too boring.

chapter 16:

In this chapter, Jonas gets the memory of a Christmas celebration. He knows the feelings of love and the meaning of grandparents. When he asks his
parents about love, they say that that word is too generalised, so that it is almost rude. In the night, Jonas says to Gabriel, although he can't
understand it, that there could be love and a living with grandparents, if the rules wouldn't be against it.
Again almost a whole chapter for one memory. And another thing: Why do the parents know the word love and the meaning of it, if The Giver or the
Receiver only have the memory?

chapter 17:

This chapter is about two things. At the beginning, the speakers declare this day as a holiday. Then, on the search for Asher, Jonas sees him and
Fiona playing ambush combat or war games. He knows, what warfare is and asks Asher not to play it. But Asher reminds him, that he is the
Assistant Director of Recreation and so Jonas mustn't tell him what to play. Then, back at home, Jonas' father tells the family about the birth of
twins, which takes place the next day. He says, that the twins are going to be identical and so he has to decide which one is going to be nurtured and
which one is going to be "released”.
Just one question: How can the eleven's playing war games know the games, if The Giver and the Receiver alone know the meaning of warfare? It's
getting too unrealistic.

[b]chapter 18:[/b]

In this chapter, Jonas asks The Giver about release and so they come to the story of the Receiver, which had failed ten years ago. The old man says,
that the girl did a good job, just as Jonas now, but after she had had a few bad memories, she went to the chief elder and got "released”. So all the
memories she had had were free to everyone in the community. Then the rule was added that the Receiver mustn't apply for "release”.
This is a good chapter. It isn't unrealistic and some question that were open are now answered.

chapter 19:

In chapter nineteen, Jonas learns, what a "release” really is. He talks with The Giver and then comes to the point where he says, that he would have
liked it to watch the "release” of the twin. Against the belief of him, the old man tells him, that he can if he wants to. After a few words to the
speaker, they see it on a video screen. But when Jonas sees, that his father kill the little baby by injecting it something, he is terribly shocked and
angry about his father. He didn't know that a "release” was nothing else than a murder.
This chapter, like the one before, clears some questions. But wouldn't more people be shocked if they see, that they have to kill someone in order to
"release” him? I think they would. And if the people would be shocked, they wouldn't like living in this community. So, it's unrealistic again. Now,
the unrealistic things start to gather. The book is full of contradictions. That's not good for a book. Especially not if it is read by thinking people.

chapter 20:

In this chapter, Jonas decides to run away from the community. He speaks with The Giver about it and together they develop a plan. The Giver wants
to stay with the community. He says, he has to, because if the memories of Jonas will be released to the community, if he is "lost”. Jonas wants to
leave secretly hidden in a car the Give is going to order in the morning, filled with memories of courage and strength which The Giver wants to give
him before. After the community will notice that Jonas is away, The Giver has planned to do a ceremony of loss, because, as he will tell the
community, Jonas is lost in the river.
That chapter is again exciting and important, too. I think this and the one after it are the only chapters with some action in them and I really liked
reading them. But there is still a question: Why does The Giver say that he wants to be with his daughter, if she is dead (released)?

chapter 21:

In this chapter, Jonas executes his plan prematurely, because his father wants to release Gabriel the next day. He takes him and rides away on his
bike. When the morning brakes, they have to hide in a bush and sleep, for not to be seen. In the nights, they travel further and further away and when
search planes with heat sensors fly over them, Jonas transfers memories of ice to Gabriel, making them both invisible to the sensors, since the pilot
doesn't see them due to his mind not knowing colours.
This chapter is the best in the book. There's real action and it's exciting. I liked reading it.

chapter 22:

In this chapter, Jonas continues his journey. The planes have stopped searching for them, but their food has all been eaten. The road is getting more
difficult to pass, because it's bumpy and it's getting cold. But they seem to get closer to the "Elsewhere” nobody of the community has ever been to.
There's not much happening here. Still, I like the story at this point as it is more interesting than the beginning of the story.

chapter 23:

The last chapter of the book is somewhat short. As Jonas reaches a bigger hill, totally covered in snow, he tries to move up on his bike, but it's too
slippery. So he has to climb onto it on foot. Also he has to stop every few meters to warm him and Gabriel recalling the memory of sunshine. When
he finally reaches the summit, he sees, that the hill is somehow similar to him. Then he notices why. There's the sled from his memory. He sits on it
and drives down the hill. He spots lights from houses and hears music. Then he knows that he's in the next town in "Elsewhere”.

When I started to read the chapter, I thought "O.K. This is good. Now it ends and everything is fine.” But when I read the last sentences, especially
when Jonas spotted the sled, I only thought "Oh my god.” This part is so unrealistic and incredible, that it has ruined my good opinion about the
book. If this end would just have been a little changed, I could accept the book, but now I don't think I want to read it ever again.

As a final statement, I can only say that the book is really boring, except a small number of interesting, exciting and realistic chapters that don't have
to much contradictions. It seemed to me like a bad clone of "Big Brother”. Still, in the end, I have one question:
How could Jonas recall his memories of sunshine, the ride on the sled and so on, if The Giver had done his Ceremony of Loss and the memories
have spread out to everyone in the community, as planned? I've really read better books, many much better books.
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