You’re eleven years old. All of the pain, fear, war, and hatred of the world has been eliminated from society. Everyone looks and acts the same, and your profession is chosen for you based on your abilities; at age twelve. The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, is a fascinating story about a different type of society and learning the secrets behind it. The movie of the same name directed by Phillip Noyce, is creative, but showed some very disappointing changes from the book.
All in all, the book is far more preferable because the plot is far more exciting, the characters are developed well, and the creativeness is more descriptive than that of the movie. The Giver is a novel about a young boy named Jonas. He is given the profession of the Receiver at twelve years old in which receives all of the communities memories from the past. He gets these memories from the Giver. The Giver “gives” him memories of war, love, and other things that are not present in the society anymore. Jonas is not permitted to tell anyone of the memories so he has a big responsibility.
His father is a nurturer of newborns and when Jonas’s little brother Gabriel is born he is a troubled child. Jonas finds out through the Giver that Gabriel will be taken away, so Jonas saves him. Jonas starts to grow apart from his family after he finds out the secrets of how things within the society work. His best friends are Asher and Fiona are introduced within the first couple chapters and Jonas tries not to share any memories with them because he is not supposed to, but because the Giver explained love to him, so he starts to fall in love with Fiona and wants to show her that feeling.
Jonas learns not to like the society anymore and gets himself into a lot of trouble. He is in danger and has to escape to a far away place. The movie compared to the book is rather vague and boring. It is set in black and white for a portion of the film. The characters are all older, eighteen instead of twelve, and the Giver is poorly portrayed. Jonas is Australian in the movie, but no indication of that is in the book. I guess you could say it’s because Jonas is different from everyone else. The movie has technological advances that were not read about in the book such as drones and high-tech computers.
The Giver does more explaining to Jonas than giving. Jonas spends less time with the Giver, and that is much different than the book because he always went to the Giver to find out more. As I previously stated, The Giver, is a much better read than a movie. First of all, Jonas is noted to be different from everyone else in society. Jonas matures from age eleven to a twelve year old that takes on a great deal of responsibility, which the movie lacks. The development of his character brings the reader to think of the morale behind the story.
Being granted the Receiver of memories at age twelve sounds like a big duty to handle, but the book’s detail and creativity with this profession really grasps the reader’s attention. Throughout the entire book the reader stays on edge. It may be an easy read, but it has enough suspension to keep the reader engaged. The story’s viewpoint is of Jonas, so reading first hand what he is feeling, thinking, and doing is on a far more personal level. Whereas in the movie all of these characteristics are not present. They way the memories are brought into the movie really puzzled me. The Giver did more explaining than giving and that was confusing.
The movie has many technological advances not heard of in the book, so the significance of the book being from an earlier time period is not important or relevant. Quite frankly, I thought the movie would be better because I tend to enjoy watching more than reading, but to my surprise the movie was much different. It is important to realize the character development throughout the book as compared to the movie. I believe the book did a much better job at describing the characters and the movie lacked important details. At age twelve you would not expect a child to have a job.
Jonas is given a job in which designates him to be responsible and mature more rapidly, whereas in the movie he is eighteen and you would expect him to already have these important aspects. I don’t like the age difference because I feel as if it lost the significance of such a young boy taking on so many responsibilities. Overall, I was frustrated with the several differences. According to The Guardian, the book is intended for younger people, yet convoluted enough for adults (par. 3). They also state that the book allows the reader to think in depth about the morale of the storyline.
The morale of the story is to become independent and not worry about what others say or think about you (par. 6). Also mentioned is the unique factor that the book relates to the reader through their perception of society (par. 7). Differently, well-known movie reviewer Roger Ebert had a slightly altered opinion about the movie. Ebert states that the movie was set up in a powerful way (par. 1), but Ebert was utterly disappointed with the voiceovers that had taken part in the film (par. 1). Ebert was also disgruntled with the movies lack of picture quality that should have revealed human experience (par. 6).
Ebert also claims that the only suspenseful part in the film was when Jonas learned about love (par. 10). A reviewer from The Guardian was very pleased with the book’s development of the characters. They comment about the importance of the characters relating to the reader when it comes to thinking about how life works (par. 3). They mentioned the main focus of the book is how Jonas develops into a young boy with great morals allowing the reader to follow along and think about morals themselves (par. 4). Also stated is the character’s uniqueness and interesting qualities (par. 6). In conclusion, the book is much better than the movie.
Although the movie is in color and has visuals, the book is descriptive and interesting enough to keep the reader engaged. It has a better plot, it’s more creative and the character development is much more detailed. I believe the better story lies within the text. Critical thinking and making your own visualizations while reading the book is far more fun. I highly recommend this book to any reader that enjoys an easy read with great morale hidden within the text. I have always enjoyed reading about life’s hard times and overcoming situations and you won’t want to miss Jonas’s perseverance.