Archive for May 20, 2010
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Posted by: Lucy Knisley
Book: The Giver, by Lois Lowry
“What your mother said is true as well. There will be changes.”
“Good changes, though,” his mother pointed out. “After my Ceremony of Twelve, I missed my childhood recreation. But when I entered my training for Law and Justice, I found myself with people who shared my interests. I made friends on a new level, friends of all ages.”
“Did you still play at all, after Twelve?” Jonas asked.
“Occasionally,” his mother replied. “But it didn’t seem as important to me.”
“I did,” his father said, laughing. “I still do. Every day at the Nurturing Center, I play bounce-on-the-knee, and peek-a-boo, and hug-the-teddy.” He reached over and stroked Jonas’s neatly trimmed hair. “Fun doesn’t end when you become a Twelve.”
Lily appeared, wearing her nightclothes, in the doorway. She gave an impatient sigh. “This certainly is a very long private conversation,” she said. “And there are certain people waiting for their comfort object.”
This follows a long conversation Jonas has with his parents, during which he expresses his apprehension over his imminent “Ceremony of Twelve” (the ritual birthday when The Community chooses and announces each 12-year-old child’s profession). I always liked this scene, because it seems so alien and comfortable at the same time. I was about 12 when I first read this book, and I remember being aghast that your lifelong work would be chosen for you at that age. But the feeling of talking with my parents about my anxieties over the dinner table was so relatable, still somehow in this weird weird world.
The conversation is brought to an end by Jonas’ younger sister, Lily ,who requests her “Comfort Animal.”
…Her father had already gone to the shelf and taken down the stuffed elephant which was kept there. Many of the comfort objects, like Lily’s, were soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures. Jonas’s had been called a bear.
CREEEPY! Bears and elephants are imaaaaginary!