Sunday, April 28, 2013
H1G4 Larissa's Final Blogpost: The Giver by Lois Lowry (3/3)
The memories of everyone from generations of people: these are what the Giver transfers to Jonas. Once the Giver passes on a memory, he no longer has it. The Giver places a hand on Jonas, and Jonas lives out the memory in his mind. How can centuries worth of memories even be transferred? It really gives me the impression that part of your life, your mind, continues to live on even after you’ve passed. Even more peculiar is that when someone who has received memories passes, all of the memories are given to everyone in society. Perhaps the memories were taken from everyone in the first place. Moreover, a lot of this is somewhat similar to the pensieve, from the Harry Potter series.
The memories are what set Jonas and the Giver apart from everyone else in society. Seeing the past helps them realize that the way life is now is wrong. However, they do serve a purpose in society.
“And when I am called by the Committee of Elders, I appear before them, to give them counsel and advice” (103).
The Receiver advises the leaders of the society on things they have no clue how to handle. The wisdom from the memories helps them understand what to do in circumstances where the Committee of Elders has nothing to refer to.
This reminds me very much of modern philosophy. When John Lachs came to speak to the class, we discussed how the philosophy department could be rearranged. We said that a philosopher should be in each department. This reminds me of the Receiver. He is the only one in society who the Committee of Elders goes to for advice. It’s as though the Receiver uses the memories as a kind of philosophy to help him determine what to do.
When the semester first started, I wasn’t quite sure what I thought philosophy was. It seemed more of a way to take the tiniest details about something and stretch it out into some big idea. It seemed an unnecessary way of complicating an issue. Now that I’ve taken the course, I have changed my mind. I feel like philosophy is more of a way to look at a problem. It’s a way of thinking critically about a topic.
The Receiver does this. It improves the life of the people in his town. Because the book is set in a dystopia and everything is distorted by this, I find it interesting that there is a receiver in the first place. He uses what everyone else doesn’t have, memories and real emotions, to find an answer. Not everything is black and white or logical: this scientific way of thinking doesn’t always work. Sometimes, philosophizing by combining both reason and emotions together creates the best solution and way of life.
Total Word Count: 2085
Lowry, Lois. The Giver. New York: Laurel-Leaf, 1993. Print.