If you read The Giver, you should have been going "WHOAAAAA" by the time you reached the end. I know I was.
If it wasn't already evident, The Giver is simply overflowing with themes and hidden messages. There are too many to go over in one post, so I will discuss a few of the more prominent ones that I found more interesting, and if you want to hear more, let me know in the comments and I can do a separate post on the subject.
So my favorite theme, that isn't often acknowledged since it's strongly a Christian theme, is the apple. (SPOILER ALERT from here and on)
What is the first thing that marks Jonas's ability to "see beyond"? An apple. And what was it that caused Adam and Eve to fall into sin? An apple. The next thing Jonas see in color is Fionna's hair, which is also red. From the moment he begins to get a taste of reality he sees the one thing that caused Adam and Eve to fall into sin. The beginning of his journey towards reality is the same beginning that marked Adam and Eve's entrance into our world. Then, of course, Jonas sees Fiona's hair, which is often considered a trademark of beauty for women.
The pro-life vibes. Whoa. Yes, the baby was already born, which is a bit different from the actual definition of abortion, but still; not many authors have the courage to put something like that in their books.
When Jonas's father kills the baby, it is labeled as downright wrong with no excuse, other than that Jonas's dad didn't know what he was doing. And he didn't really, just like people today don't truly know. they think that it's okay to kill a child simply because it isn't fully developed. Well, I'm sixteen. I'm not fully developed. Does that mean it's okay to kill me? But in reality, that scene is a prime example of what is happening today, but it's portrayed to the next level, so that people will see the shock of it.
The third theme I want to discuss is the obvious, central one.
Is feeling and emotion really worth all the suffering and pain? In the book, the answer is yes. Jonas gets to feel all different kinds of joy and pain and in the end, he decides that it is far better to spend you life feeling both rather than feeling nothing.
August's book recommendation is...
In a broken, futuristic version of North America, the Capitol keeps a tight leash on its districts by forcing each to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, where all 24 contestants must fight to the death until only one victor remains. Katniss Everdeen finds herself in the middle of The Hunger Games, where she life, even outside of the arena, becomes a constant battle for survival.
I read it when I was fifteen, or maybe fourteen, I don't remember, and I was able to handle it without my morals being thrown overboard. In all honesty, I wasn't going to read the books, until a reliable Catholic mother--my friend's mom--started raving about them, so I figured I'd give them a try.
Needless to say, I did not regret it.
In my mind, books typically fall under one of four categories:
1.) Bad messages throughout simply to attract readers
2.) Bad messages throughout for a purpose
3.) Nothing in particular (neither good nor bad)
4.) Good messages throughout
The Hunger Games Trilogy is a prime example of #2. Although The Hunger Games Trilogy is rampant with violence and apathetic citizens, it serves as a stark warning for what our country and world in general is headed for.
The Capitol televises The Hunger Games not only as a reminder of who's in charge, but also as entertainment. The President (in The Hunger Games) makes children die for their parents mistakes. Does this sound familiar? Well it should, because this is exactly what our country, and many others, are doing with abortion. Innocent babies are dying for their parents mistakes. Seeing as most people, for whatever reason, don't think abortion is wrong, Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games) had to switch it into something that would make people pay attention.
I know that the violence is one of the main reasons why a lot of people aren't allowed to read this.
Another reason is the fact that Katniss seems to have no morals qualms.
Except that this isn't actually true. People in today's world are very immoral because they are ignorant and so basically they are in the same boat as Katniss. None of them can see that what they are doing is wrong, and they've grown up that way.
Basically, Suzanne Collins is doing us all a favor and saying "LOOK PEOPLE, this is what happens when you don't teach your children morals, when you don't teach them how to behave, or when you don't teach them about God." THIS IS WHAT A GODLESS WORLD LOOKS LIKE. Now, in reality, I doubt Catholicism would have been so lost, but either way that's what happens when you let the world go the way it's going now.
The love triangles. No, this is not a reason to read the books, but if you look at it the right way, it's no longer a bad thing. (If you do like love triangles then I'm sorry for insulting you please go right ahead and read the books) The love triangle fits right in with everything else I've said, except that we pretty much already have this. The romance in the story become publicized just like it is with today's celebrities. We have gossip about celebrity romance. The Hunger Games has celebrity gossip. The only difference is that the romance in The Hunger Games is slightly more satirical than what we have, which again, points out that we are going down the wrong path.
"My morals are already fine, I don't need an eye-opener," you may be thinking.
Well, my morals were perfectly fine too. But after I read The Hunger Games I felt panicked, just as I should have been. Seeing as we live in this twisted world of today, no matter how good our intentions, we still tend to grow apathetic. Not every single person is this way, but I've found that even the best of Catholics needs reminding every once in awhile of what we're fighting for here. Basically, this story woke me up. As any of my friends can tell you, I am very passionate about the wrong doings in our society, and it started with this. Maybe it won't do this for you, but for me, The Hunger Games opened my eyes, and made me not only realize, but feel that there was something wrong with society. And I needed to do something.
Ratings and Ranks
My Personal Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Writing Style Overall Rating: 🌟🌟
Character Development: 🌟🌟🌟
Writing style difficulty reading level: 🌟🌟
Appropriateness Level: 🌟🌟🌟
Christian Themes: 🌟