Last Saturday, October 4, 2014, Grey Havens YA finished its discussion of Lois Lowry’s The Giver.
As we discussed the end of the story, our philosophical imaginations led us into a conversation about good and evil. One of our members suggested that “evil” was the cause of the vague post-apocalyptic event in Lowry’s story that leads to the creation of communities such as the one portrayed in The Giver. Some of our other members put forth that “evil” is a relative term; what’s evil to one person may be good to another. Is anything ever truly evil or truly good? If nothing is truly evil, and therefore nothing is truly good, is there any motivation for us to strive to be “better” human beings? Is “better” relative too? If everything is relative, where do we find meaning?
Not gonna lie, guys, this discussion had your leaders’ heads spinning for days afterwards. Good job! ^.^ This is why we love reading stories with you. You are all so smart and curious.
We didn’t come to a concrete conclusion on good and evil, but eventually the conversation drifted along to the next territory. It has become a Grey Havens YA tradition to share a one-sentence reaction to the story as a whole at the end of our discussion series. We did this with The Hobbit too, and we shared some of those responses in our Mythcon presentation. I look forward to hearing what you’ll say after our next book adventure: Sherlock Holmes! Below I am going to list the member responses to The Giver. Please send us an owl (comment below) if any of these spark a thought in you or if you’d like to share your own!
“When you live in a world without emotion, will you ever cry?”
“I loved the book a lot, the atmosphere of it.”
“Think, then re-think, because someone might’ve influenced you.”
“It makes you question your world.”
“Imagination is the most dangerous thing in the universe.”
“Lack of feelings makes me feel….Wait, what?”
“One without knowledge or deep emotions is easily influenced.”
“The book was weird, but interesting; I now see why it has been banned.”
“The story was psychologically interesting, but not well thought through.”
“It makes you question morals, colors, and what you think about everything else.”
“Everyone might be wrong, so think for yourself.”
“Your lack of knowledge disturbs me.”
Send us an owl: What did YOU think of The Giver? Since we read this one right after finishing The Hobbit, what do you think about both stories? Is one better than the other? Do they have anything in common?