Mittwoch, 30. März 2011

Chapter 11 - First Memory: About snow


This picture shows the scene when Jonas gets the memory about snow and the sled. I think it is chosen well, because the boy seems to be happy like Jonas and he is about twelve years old. Unfortunatly there are colours although Jonas is not able to see the colours this time and he wears clothes the member of the community would never wear. They do not fit in the "sameness".
But Jonas feels the speed and is really happy to have this memory, which is shown in this photo.

Comment to Chapter 9

“What if they had all been instructed: You may lie?
His mind reeled. Now, empowered to asked questions of utmost rudeness –and promised answers- he could, conceivably (thought it was almost unimaginable), ask someone, some adult, his father perhaps: “Do you lie?”
But he would have no way of knowing if the answer he received were true.” (p.60, ll.19-25)

I really like this last part of chapter 9 because Jonas thinks very philosophically about the rules he has to obey. The eighth rule is:  “You may lie.”(p.58, l.22) . Jonas is shocked and confused, because he has learned to be polite, faithful and honest since he was born. Now he asks himself how he could be sure that all the other members of the community do not have the same rules. Maybe, he thinks, everyone he is talking to is allowed to lie. I think Lois Lowry told this part in a really good way, so that Jonas seems to be wise and the reader sees the sides of Jonas which do not fit in the sameness of the community.
You can also see that Jonas gets uneasily the rules, because they are against everything he believed. Because he becomes the Receiver many things change –Jonas has to stand strongly a lot of pain and confusedness.
I think, additionally it shows the influence of the sameness in Jonas life. He does not see himself as a special man and guesses that everyone could have the SAME rules.

Dienstag, 22. März 2011

Jonas' Diary Entry

It’s already bad that I am Nineteen, ‘cause when I sat in the Auditorium waiting that my number was called, minutes seemed to be hours and I became more and more impatient. It was really nice to see how happy the other Twelves were, getting their jobs, but I even wanted to know which future was expecting me. Well, I waited sitting on my place, Fiona on my left. I guessed she was as excited as I was, although she controlled herself very well.
Our Ceremony began and after the Chief Elder’s speech he called One. There were some Assignments I do not enjoy, but everyone left the stage with a smile in his or her face, and I became surer that the Elders would even know what would be the right one for me.
Asher was really nervous but I think to be the Assistant Director of Recreation is perfectly made for him. When my best friend left the stage he seemed to feel relieved.
The disaster happened later. Again I became more nervous, because Fiona was called to the stage and my sureness was lost. What should I do if the Elders do any mistake? Maybe they were not able to choose an Assignment for me? I did not know WHICH Assignment was waiting for me. And before I reminded this, the Elders shocked me.
Fiona –what a surprise- became Caretaker of the Old. She looked very satisfied when she sat down on her seat, but I was unfortunately excited and strained, waiting to hear my number. Repeating the situation I think it was funny. I pleased for a controlled and normal walk to the stage: That I will not slip or anything like that. In a heart-stopping moment I heart “Twenty”. My first thought was “She skipped me.” and then I was confused about my own number. Or maybe I had heard wrong! But no: Pierre, Twenty, on my right hand moved to the stage and I just wanted to disappear. Far, far away from my family and the other community members who were all surprised and watched me asking themselves if I had done anything wrong, because I knew: The Elders do NOT make mistakes. I was embarrassed and looked forward to the end of the Ceremony. I did not hear what the Chief Elder was telling and who got which job. Although my eyes were open I do not realize what I see, everything was senseless. Again and again I focused on the voice of the Chief Elder while she called number and number, from twenty-one continuing in order. When the last one had his Assignment, the audience applauded and I applauded, too.  Politely but just like an automatic. I waited. It was really hard, because I seemed to know what everyone was thinking and they all, especially me, need an explanation. In this moment the Chief Elder started to speak again I raised up my head.
Then the most exciting minutes follow I ever had. The Chief Elder ordered me to stage now and all of my confusedness and fear was shown in my walk. When I stood next to her, she began o explain and everything she said, every word seemed to be a joke. I still do not really got this. Me –the Receiver of Memory? I did not know whether this could be my future. And the Chief Elder told us that the selection to be the Receiver was very, very rare. How could I am the right one? But I have seen the current Receiver: Watching me intently with his pale eyes –eyes like mine- he was sitting in the group of the Committee of Elders.
The Chief Elder continued and what she told was not like a job I wanted. Alone. Apart. And do I have this intelligence, integrity and courage she was talking about? The Assignment of the Receiver includes pain. She explained this pain as nothing I want to feel. Additionally: Wisdom. How could I be wise? I am a Twelve! I do not have enough experience to be wise.
Then the last one…”Capacity to See Beyond”. What is it? An easy question, but J don’t think that anyone could answer it. How they all looked at me I knew they wanted to hear that I have anything.  But do I?? I wanted already to say: No, I don’t have this attributes. I can’t be the new Receiver. And then, suddenly, when I watched the audience…they changed. They ALL changed like the apple in the game with Asher. In this moment I knew: I have all this attributes, and I CAN also see beyond. This was what I told the Chief Elder and everyone in the Auditorium. She accepted that, they all accepted that. They thanked me for my childhood –as it was the tradition- and then they began to whisper, call, scream my name. I felt wish less happy, knew they were satisfied with my new role, my new life.
Unfortunately there was this bad feeling. Fear. I don’t even know what my future will be like. There are many options and I will not forget how the Chief Elder was telling me about “pain beyond every experience”. I fear this pain and what I have to become.

Sonntag, 13. März 2011

Analysis of Chapter 6

This text is an extract from the novel “The Giver” by Luis Lowry, appeared in year 1994, and deals with the first eleven Ceremonies, the community members visit on two days each year.
The whole novel is told from the perspective of the main character Jonas, although it is told from a third person narrator.
This excerpt leads up to Chapter 7 and 8 which are about the Ceremony of Jonas. There are some passages written in dialogue, for example in the beginning: From page 38 line 1 to page 39 line 3 Jonas’ Mother and sister talk with him about the following days and the Ceremonies. But instead of this part the mainly part is a narrative passage from Jonas’ view who tells the reader how the Ceremonies are passed.
The chapter is subdivided in two parts. First you get something about the first day and the Ceremonies of newchildren, as the Ceremony of Eight, too. Jonas’ narrative is focused on the Naming because he thinks it is the most interesting and happiest Ceremony on the first day. Additionally it shows how the Ceremonies are structured. The Ceremony of Eight is even told more detailed, because Lily, Jonas’ sister, is involved. This shows the relationship between Jonas and Lily, although they are not biological related.
The second part deals with the following day of Ceremonies and each Ceremony (from Nine to Eleven) is explained with many details. This works to make the reader feel Jonas’ suspense, looking forward to his own Ceremony. For example in lines 25 and 26 on page 42 it is said: “Jonas never found the Ceremony of Ten particularly interesting”. Jonas feels boring instead he is excited because of his Ceremony.
Ater the Ceremony of Eleven the midday meal follows and the author shows the atmosphere of Jonas and the other Elevens who will become Twelves really good: “Yesterday there had been merriment at lunch, a lot of teasing and energy. But today the group stood anxiously, separate from the other children.” (Page 43, ll. 10-12) Afterwards there is a dialogue between Asher, Jonas’ best friend, and Jonas about what will be the choice if you get a job you really don’t like and want. They talk about joining another community and whether it is possible or necessary. This makes the reader thinking himself about this situation and how he would act if he were in this situation, that he is not allowed to choose a job he wants.
In the final part the reader gets some thoughts of Jonas about his job and you see his sureness that the Elders know the right one for everybody of their community.
Like in the Chapters before Luis Lowry uses special speech. There are some word creations you do not use typically in the English language. “For the earliest ceremony, the Naming, the Nurturers brought the newchildren to the stage.” (p. 39, ll.13-15)
“The Naming” is the Ceremony the “newchildren”, that means the babies, the children who are born new (since the last Ceremonies), get their names. Luis Lowry gives the community members this special language to show that they are different to our culture. In Chapter one Jonas has to guess a word which perfectly describes his feelings. All in all this words connect to this explanation of Chapter one: They have to use words cautiously (besonnen) and for example the “Naming” names exactly what it is. In the community the members tell what they mean and don’t need any paraphrases which do not name this exactly.
Finally the whole chapter mentions the structure of their community, as it is even told: “The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made.” (p.44, ll.6+7) Jonas is satisfied to live in this community and con not guess what could be a reason to join another community.
It fits perfectly in the previous chapters and forms a transition to the main story of “The Giver”. Here the action becomes less passive and introductory. You can expect the following chapters to be more exciting and showing more about the main idea of the whole story.

Summary of Chapter 6

This extract is taken from the chapter 6 out of the novel “The Giver” by Luis Lowry in year 1994 and deals with the twelve Ceremonies passed each year in the community, where Jonas is living.
In the beginning Jonas, his mother and sister Lily have a conversation. Lily does not like that her mother ties her braids and then they talk about the different Ceremonies, also about Jonas’ Ceremony of Twelve and which job he has to work for his whole life.
In the following part they enter the Auditorium, where they visit the Ceremonies, and its look is told: The Nurturers with the babies looking forward to the first Ceremony, the Naming, stay on stage. Because of the babies Jonas thinks about Gabriel who is not released, although he is not able to pass the Naming this year. Jonas is glad that the young boy got the chance to develop one more year.
The Naming seams to be a happy Ceremony and continues in a “Murmur-of-Replacement Ceremony” because the newchild Caleb takes the place of the child Caleb which died in the river. Last newchild is named Roberto and Jonas guesses that the old man named Roberto had been released. He noticed the differences between Loss and Release, because Roberto does not have a “Murmur-of-Replacement Ceremony”.
Then –after Ceremonies of Two, Three, Four, Fives, Sixes and Sevens and the midday meal were named shortly- Lily’s Ceremony of Eight follows. Jonas sees his sister jealous looking to the bicycles of the Nine although she acts politely.
The second passage is about the day after when Jonas will have his own Ceremony. The day starts introductory where the first passage finishes: In their Ceremony the Nines get their bicycles and one boy from Jonas’ neighborhood is one of them. Although it is against the rules each Nine has ridden a bicycle before.
To midday meal the Ceremonies of Ten and Eleven are passed. Jonas is excited about his Ceremony and feels boring about the other Ceremonies -instead they are told more detailed than the Ceremonies the day before.
Even how the day before they take their midday meal outside, but the situation is different, because the Elevens who will become Twelves are strained and they all look forward to their Ceremony.
Asher talks to Jonas about someone who did not like his job and because of that he left the community by swimming across the river and joining another community. Jonas and Asher talk about the different possibilities if they don’t like their jobs, although Jonas is sure that the Elders who control everything in their community know exactly what job is the right one for him.
Finally there are named some facts about the structures of the community like the perfect organizing of marriages: That a lot of factors have to be checked.
The Chapter ends with the signal for the beginning of the Ceremony of Twelve.

Mittwoch, 9. März 2011

Poem about the Stirrings (Chapter 5)

If you dream something you don’t want to tell
What do you do? What do you do?
If you’re ashamed to speak about
What do you do? What do you do?

There is no ability to be silent
What do you do? What do you want?
And when you talk to them
What will they do? What will they do?

You’re still growing up and develop
Isn’t it easy - isn’t it hard?
Your parents help you to find the right way
What do you do? What do you want?

They tell you this good feeling is bad
What will you do? What will they do?
The Stirrings: You want to feel them again
What do you do? What do you do?

But they were gone when you took the pill
Is it normal or only controlled?
You loosed this dream –like a self kill?
It is not perfect and, sure, not real.

This poem is just out of my own feelings and thoughts, although I know Jonas would not think so, because he has not the freedom to think things like that, to criticize their community and the structures.

Dienstag, 8. März 2011

Chapter 3 - Told from another perspective (Lily)

“Oh, look!” I squawked (kreischen) enthusiastically. “Isn’t he cute? Look how tiny he is! And he has funny eyes like yours, Jonas!”
My cheeky gaze hit my brother who noticed my comment with funny facial expressions. Because dad has not overheard my exclamation, Jonas expected unsuccessfully his reprimand (Rüge). But it was true. I have not seen many people with his light eyes. Sometimes I was a bit jealous because of it, but to be jealous was against the rules and Jonas passed his life in the harder way ‘cause of his special look. It was not good to be special in any way.
While going into our house, again to annoy my brother, I glanced back and said mockingly (spöttisch): “Maybe he had the same Birthmother as you…”
Unfortunately he shrugged and ignored me. I knew that speaking this way was not allowed, you have to be polite. But I also knew I had the ‘child-bonus’ and Jonas would not report me as I was a family member.
Sure, the Elders did not need a report, but it was not a strong violation of the rules. Maybe I would apologize in the evening to calm the Elders.
I bent over Gabriel. He looked quite nice and really peaceful. I was not able to imagine him being not able to sleep at night so that anyone had the idea to release him. Although I really agree how special Gabriel was.
“What’s his comfort object called?” I asked interested and investigated the stuffed creature which looked really crazy. Sometimes I asked myself who had this mad fantasy to design something like that and my own comfort object.
“Hippo” Dad answered and smiled. I had to laugh, too.
“Hippo” I repeated and gave the ‘Hippo’ amused back to Gabriel. He had awoken now.
“I think newchildren are so cute!” I told my family. “I hope I get assigned to be a Birthmother,”
But my mum replied very quickly (and her voice was strong): “Lily! Don’t say that. There’s very little honor in that Assignment!”
Pig-headed (trotzig) I told her about the Ten Natasha who lived around the corner in our neighborhood. “She does some of her volunteer hours at the Birthing Center. And she told me that the Birthmothers get wonderful food, and they have very gentle exercise periods, and most of the time they just play games and amuse themselves while they’re waiting.” In all my conviction I added: “I think I’d like that.”
Again my mum answered quickly. She seamed to be as resolute as I was. “Three years, three births, and that’s all. After that they are Laborers for the rest of their adult lives, until the day that they enter the House of the Old. Is that what you want, Lily? Three lazy years and then hard physical labor until you are old?” I have never taken note of this point and said giving up: “Well, no, I guess not.”
Then dad also interfered (einmischen) although he seamed to be busy with Gabriel. “Anyway, Lilly-Billy, the Birthmothers never even get to see newchildren. If you enjoy the little ones so much, you should hope for an Assignment as Nurturer.”
Additionally mum proposed: “When you’re an Eight and start your volunteer hours, you can try some at the Nurturing Center.”
I wanted to roll my eyes, but this day many times I was so impolite that I suppressed this feeling. They have already convinced (überzeugt), but nevertheless they did not stop talking.
“Yes, I think I will” I agreed. And to change the subject I added: “What did you say his name is? Gabriel? Hello, Gabriel!” I bent over the child basket and saw that the cute baby has closed his eyes and slept peacefully.
“Ooops,” I whispered amused. “I think he’s asleep. I guess I’d better be quiet.”
Now I was able to be sure that no one would still talk about Birthmothers’ labor and the Nurturing Center, and to watch Gabriel dreaming in a sweet way was busying me completely.
The dialogue is completely copied by the book "The Giver" and not owned by me, just used for the idea to change the view from Jonas' narrative to Lily's. :)

Samstag, 5. März 2011

Homework: Summary of Chapters 1+2

The first chapter of Lois Lowrey’s novel “The Giver” deals with the situation Jonas, the main character, lives in. It begins as Jonas tells something about their non-normal lifestyle. For him it seams to be the same as every day, but when he tells how “frightened” he and all the community members were, when they had seen an aircraft flying above their “community”, it seams really crazy. Also his following story about Asher, a friend, and their strict learning of word using does. All in all it shows that the community includes a really organized life.
The scene Jonas sits with his family to take their evening meal is odd, too. They all speak about their feelings and what occupies them. The things his sister, father and mother tell are almost trifles (Kleinigkeiten), although it helps them to speak about it.
Jonas tells his family that he is apprehensive because of December, which is in the whole chapter indicated. There will be the important “Ceremony of Twelve” which defines his future. Additionally to that the second chapter connects. Lily, Jonas’ sister, has to change her clothes to nightdress, so that Jonas’ parents can talk to their son privately.
In the beginning the reader gets what this “December Ceremonies” are. They are like birthdays, although the ‘parents’ don’t give birth to their own children but take them in one “December Ceremony”. The conversation shows more and more how many structures are in the community –from birth to death everything is controlled. You hear how Jonas’ family got Lily, Jonas’ dad became a “Nurturer” in his “Ceremony of Twelve” and how he works.
Jonas’ parents tell him what and how the ceremony is, what for recognitions they got and that there is no reason to be afraid, although a lot of things are changing because of it.
Generally there are a lot of hints (Hinweise) how many rules the people of the community have to obey and that the consequences can be very cruel.

As own opinion I would say: This is not like a Perfect World.

Mittwoch, 2. März 2011


We’ll talk about Lois Lowry’s novel “The Giver” and because of that we have to think about what the book could be about.
There are some questions you can ask, if you want to know, what the book is telling us. “The Giver” is not a definite title. It does not help you to know who acts, what happens. Is it just about someone who likes to give other people things? Or is it not so easy and it is a more complicated story?
I guess in our ‘Lernstand’ we had an excerpt of the novel in German language. “Der Hüter der Erinnerungen” was about a perfect world, which is controlled by some men and so I think the novel is. But why is it named “The Giver”? If you want to save memories you do not give anything, don’t you?
The cover shows two people, a young and an old man.  The young boy wears a white nightdress and has blond hair. He raises his hands to the old man. Even the old man raises his hands to the boy. He wears a black suit and seams to be very old, because he has white hair and his skin-color is nearly white, too. The two people have no face -that means no eyes, mouth, nose and so on. Although the old man must be larger than the young boy, they have almost the same height. I don’t think the cover tells us a lot about the content and I would not focus on it for our pre-reading-exercise.
All in all the fact that we will read it as a schoolwork signifies the novel has an ulterior motive and some philosophy. So maybe it shows that a perfect world is not so perfect how it seams.