Lois Lowry’s The Giver considers something the world takes for granted: personal empowerment. These simple day-to-day decisions create what the world is. Without self-empowerment and right to believe in a personal decision, what is the human race? The world can only imagine, as Lois Lowry does in The Giver. She asks: What if everything in life was decided by others? What if spouses, children, the weather, education, and careers were chosen based upon the subjects’ personality? What if it didn’t matter what the subject thought? Jonas, the Receiver, lives here. He eats, sleeps, and learns in his so-called perfect world until he meets the Giver, an aged man, who transmits memories of hope, pain, color, and love. Jonas then escapes his
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Jonas...“didn’t want the memories, didn’t want the honor, didn’t want the wisdom, and didn’t want the pain (Lowry 121). Lois Lowry uses this to portray that personal decisions are important, and if they are made by someone else, then no power is gained. This element adds to the story by creating the idea of how decisions based on fact do not create the desired effect, rather the opposite. Personal empowerment does, however. Only the subject truly knows what they want, regardless of what fact otherwise implies. As Jonas states, “I want to wake up in the morning and decide things! A blue tunic, or a red one? I know it’s not important, what you wear. It doesn’t matter. But it’s the choosing that’s important” (Lowry 97-98). Decisions are one thing that create a sense of power, a crucial element in society. This power cannot be underestimated.
In addition to irony, symbolism is also a literary device that is used in The Giver. The Giver is a symbol for all knowledge. He contains the past, present and future in his mind. One would speculate that this would be to his advantage. However, knowledge is both painful and a blessing, just as the Giver is full of both joy and horror. He pleads, “Please, take some of the pain” (Lowry 118). Although the bearing of all intelligence pains him deeply, another more rejoiceful memoir keeps him motivated. The Giver announces to Jonas, “Music. I began to