The Giver Book Club – Chapters 6 through 8: Chosen, Not Assigned

Giver 6-8

Welcome to my first ever book club!  We’re reading “The Giver” by Lois Lowry together, in preparation for the August 15th movie based on the book!

If you missed it:

Chapters 1 – 2

Chapters 3 – 5

Jonas is different.

He’s different in a community which has chosen sameness and security over individuality and freedom.  (Ever feel that way?!)

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Until now, the jury was out.

But in these chapters, reads can see clearly in the ceremonies that everyone’s lives are very well-planned by the government.  At every year, kids change slightly, gradually, as they prepare for the Ceremony that eventually places them in their forever occupations.

At the much dreaded December Ceremony, Jonas is nervous that he’ll hate his assignment.  Then, as he sits there in anxiety, he’s skipped.

Everyone in the crowd realizes that the elder left Jonas out, which is the worst fate for Jonas.  (In a community that demands that everyone is the same, you don’t want to stand out.)  Finally, after everyone has received his assignment, the elder apologizes for causing alarm.  He explains that he meant to skip over Jonas, because he wasn’t going to be assigned a task.  Instead he was selected to be something special: the “Receiver of Memory.”  While this the most honored position in the community, it’s a position that demands isolation.  Plus, he is told, it will involve pain. Jonas, was chosen for his intelligence, wisdom, and ability to “see beyond.”

When Jonas hears that phrase, he looks out at the audience and sees a flicker, in the same way an apple changed in a previous chapter.

He realizes his destiny is the right one.

But is he up for it?

Question:

Discuss what it means to be chosen.  Would you rather be assigned or selected?

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