When I was in 8th grade, I didn’t ask about reasons to read “The Giver,” I simply picked up the book because it was required reading for school. Little did I know how much I would enjoy the novel. I’m eager for its theater release to say the least! There are many reasons to read “The Giver” before seeing it in theaters, and here are a few!
Jonas’ world in “The Giver” isn’t like many futuristic societies with flying cars and talking robots. No, this world is controlled by a series of rules. His world is a dystopia, though he doesn’t realize that at first. One reason I recommend reading “The Giver” before hitting the theaters is to learn more about the way his community runs. It can be difficult trying to pick up these details for the first time when watching it on the big screen.
The book isn’t required for summer reading for nothing. It has very powerful motifs that give you some food for thought. It’s deep, which is why I feel reading it first gives you time to think about the plot points rather than miss the movie as you get wrapped into considering them. For example, I find it interesting the precision of language found in the book. At one point, Jonas says he is ‘starving‘ and then is quickly chastised because he is not ‘starving‘ he is simply hungry.
It’s a great book to read. In fact, I was just returning from a weekend away with family. On the car-ride home, I started reading the book to everyone in the car. My great aunt wants to borrow it from me because we didn’t get the opportunity to finish it. My mother wants me to continue reading it aloud to her. It sparked great conversation between us.
There is very powerful writing found in “The Giver.” As a writer, I love it when I find a juicy, rich or graceful imagery in texts. To think that mere words could evoke that response is incredible. “Even trained for years as they all had been in precision of language, what word could you use which would give another the experience of sunshine?” It definitely gets you thinking.
Truth be told, the movies don’t always live up the legacy of the book. Sometimes they defy them. I feel it’s important to read the book to soak up the story before seeing it in theaters. It’s a personal preference of mine but I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with this read.
The memories in “The Giver” are far and few between extreme happiness and ultimate suffering. In an interview, author Lois Lowry said she was inspired to write the book based on her fascination with memory. You can see how that unfolds in the story. I believe reading the book gives you an innocent and naive approach to the memories. For example, Jonas identifies this “thing” which he later learns is the color red. The movie will most likely cover that in a more concise and to-the-point manner.
The best part of reading “The Giver” before you see it in theaters is knowing that you have that option. Many times after I finish reading a captivating story, I wish I could run to the theaters and see it but I can’t. It’s not a movie. The benefit of reading this phenomenal book is that you can put it down and then mark your calendar to see it with your friends.
“The Giver” is scheduled to come to theaters August 15, 2014. You should definitely check out the movie but with a few months before its release, head to your local library and snag a copy. What was your impression of the book? Are you excited for the movie?
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