Oct 1, 2010

Banned Book Review: The Giver

I decided that since I promote the reading of a banned book during Banned Books Week, I should myself read a banned/challenged book. For my banned book I read The Giver by Lois Lowry.

The Giver has been on the 100 most challenged/banned books for several years, though it is one of Lowry's most loved books. The reason parents gave to banning it was that they said it promoted infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.

To which Lowry responds, "They obviously haven't read it . . . it's really a moral book."

And I agree with her. It doesn't promote any of that. True, infanticide and euthanasia do take place in the book, but the main character, Jonas, realizes how horrible it is and wants to change it.

This is what I think of the book. It isn't entertaining--it isn't supposed to be. But it is interesting and moral. It is a book that celebrates our agency, and individuality. The people in the community presented in the book think they are happy, or have emotions, but they don't know because they have never known true happiness, or sadness. As a Mormon, this just intensified what we have learned about needing opposition in all things--that is how we know when we are truly happy and blessed. Life is hard, and it's painful at times, but isn't it worth going through those small moments so we can understand love and happiness?

I think that anyone who has ever read this book will see that Lowry is not promoting euthanasia, but instead, letting us know that not having any memory of the past is going to make our present and future insignificant.

Anyone else read a banned book this week?

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed The Giver, Though I didn't like the ending very much.

    I didn't read a banned book... but I've read many that are on the list. :D