I read The Giver this week. This wasn’t the first time I had read the book – I imagine most people read it at some point during elementary/middle school. I didn’t remember much about it, though.. other than that it was a dystopian novel. Since I’ve been loving The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies, I figured it was a good time to re-read The Giver. For those of you haven’t read this in a while/ever, here’s the teaser from Goodreads:
Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
The scene in The Giver that really go me was the one in which Jonas begins seeing colors (in his world, there are no colors because everything is the same). He says it’s “not fair” that nothing has color because “if everything’s the same, then there aren’t any choices.” He’s talking about clothes and toys, but the Giver points out that having a choice means you might choose wrong. “What if they were allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong? Or what if they chose their own jobs?” Jonas says, “we really have to protect people from wrong choices.”
Could you imagine if all of our choices were made for us? It might be nice for a little while – to not have to weigh the pros and cons of a decision or worry about the consequences of your choices. But really.. what is a “wrong” choice? Aren’t all of our choices ultimately the right ones? Even if you wish you had made a different choice after the fact, think about what would have happened if you actually had. Your life would have turned out differently.
The choices you make now, the people you surround yourself with, they all have the potential to affect your life, even who you are, forever. - The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Have you read The Giver? There’s a movie coming out, too! Jeff Bridges is playing the Giver, which I can totally see. Katie Holmes, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard, and (eh) Taylor Swift are in it, too.
How do you feel about choices? There are plenty of days when I wish someone could make my decisions for me (like that episode of Friends when Rachel lets Monica make all her decisions), but ultimately, the ability to make my own choices is one of my absolute favorite things about “being an adult.” I’ve made plenty of bad choices, but I’m pretty happy with where they’ve brought me.