Archive for September 17, 2010
Book: The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Illustrated by: Lucy Knisley
Finally, the ceremony of Twelve begins, and Jonas is fraught with anticipation over his Community assignment– how he will spend his adult life serving the Community. As number 19 in the order of his birthyear, he has to wait for the first eighteen year-twelves to receive their assignments, but when it comes time for his number to be called, the Chief Elder skips him!
In this society of monotony, such an aberration to the normal procedure is met with fear and bewilderment. It is especially so for Jonas at the center of the event, who is so cognizant of the rules.The community is a place where the rules of “sameness” are the basis of a society, and being able to fit in is the be-all end-all. This moment rips Jonas out of the monotony that is his and his community’s ideal.
This is a perfect moment for a young-adult book, because adolescents are so often learning and testing rules of conduct. I spent a lot of time at age 12 wondering what I did wrong in various situations. Getting in trouble was pretty common, and public embarrassment was dreaded slightly less than decapitation.
I loved finally drawing a good crowd scene within the community. It’s fascinating to imagine what this society has done to eradicate personal differences as much as possible, but to sneak in subtle differences within the group.
I won’t go into why Jonas was skipped over, because it’s revealed in the next chapter, and I want to save it! Stay tuned…
Hello! I chose to draw McMurphy deep in thought for this post because of a specific turning point in the book. McMurphy is shocked to learn that most of the Acutes in the hospital are not committed like himself. He freaks out, “Are you bullshitting me?[...] Are you guys bullshitting me!”
McMurphy doesn’t understand why they would stay in the hospital. Billy Bibbit breaks down trying to explain to him why…
“You think I wuh-wuh-wuh-want to stay in here? You think I wouldn’t like a con-con-vertible and a guh-guh-girl friend? But did you ever have people l-l-laughing at you?[...] Oh-oh, you -you t-talk like we stayed in here because we liked it! Oh-it’s n-no use…”
I think at this point McMurphy has to decide whether or not being the leader of the ward is worth him risking a release date from the hospital or a trip to the shock shop (electroshock therapy). Next month’s post will be the answer to that question.
For this post I wanted to take a break from the usual loud colors I’ve been using for these drawings. I hope you like the drawing! Thanks for reading!