The Giver by Lois Lowry is probably one of the first books I can remember reading that when I finished I couldn’t stand up because my whole world was spinning (Note: While there is no advisory warning attached to the book, if you haven’t read it prepare to have your mind blown). Jonas the main character of the book lives in a society where everyone experiences the “sameness”. By removing pain and strife from society there is a utopian society that has been created, but in doing so they’ve removed emotion and uniqueness from culture.
The start of the book finds Jonas going to a ceremony where he will be given his title within society. Jonas is given the title of Receiver of Memories, which after some hesitation agrees. In his training he for his position he learns that the Receiver is responsible for holding the memories of the society to be used to help them with the Sameness but also to remember all of the things of the past. Throughout receiving memories from the previous Receiver now known as The Giver, Jonas experiences things for the first time: color, emotion, war, happiness, etc.
The reason I find myself to be like Jonas is that I’m constantly in a world where I’m surrounded by all of these different sensations and memories but I’m not always aware of it. When was the last time you stopped to think about what the color Blue meant, OR any color for that matter? In our society you can see shades of The Sameness creeping in. Yet while Jonas experiences war and pain, he also starts to understand the importance of individuality. He starts to ask questions about the world around him, not because he wants what is best for his society.
If you were asked to describe blue what would you tell someone?