The Giver – the 2014 movie – made me want to go back and re-read the 1993 novel, because my impressions of the movie adaptation were based on its faithfulness to the book. But now I’m learning, from Wikipedia and other sources, that my memory of the book may be faulty. (That’s ironic, since the story is about a Receiver of Memories.)

It’s been many years since I’ve read The Giver. I must not have read it thoroughly.

For one thing, the novel is not as old as I remember it being. I really was thinking it was published in the 1960s.

Ever since I saw the trailer, I’ve been bothered by the “technologically advanced” look of the movie. I’d been picturing the novel as more “rural” – set in an agricultural village. But what does the book actually say about Jonas’ community? I don’t remember.

One thing I do know is that Jonas is older in the movie than in the book. The novel’s “Ceremony of Twelve” happens at eighteen. I didn’t mind that. It’s a minor detail.

A big thing that bothered me about the movie was how open the Receiver of Memories is about the memories he’s keeping. He goes around blabbing to the Elder Council about wars and other things of the past, and the Elder Council seems to be aware of these things already. Isn’t the whole point of a Receiver of Memories to keep these terrible things hidden while guiding the Sameness with the lessons learned from them?

Watching the movie last night brought up a question I’d never thought of before. I’m sure this is true of the novel, too. If Jonas is supposed to keep his training secret, why send him home to his family every night? Why not just have him live with the Receiver of Memories?

The movie was more “action” than I would have liked. It’s wasn’t bad, overall. I just need to re-read the novel.


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