Reading Circles – The Giver {Part 5}

We’re in the home stretch! Did you sneak to the end? I’m totally tempted to sneak to the end and discuss all of it NOW. But we’re almost there!

Last week, we read chapters 15-19. We talked about a Point of No Return: the second one, this time catapulting us towards the end. It usually comes in the last 20% of the book. For me, the Point of No Return came when Jonas realizes his father has killed the twin, though I imagine others might see it as coming a page or two later at the revelation of Rosemary’s release.

I think I’m as shocked, stunned, and horrified as Jonas at this part, even though I knew all along that “release” would play some important role because Lowry brings it up so much -or foreshadows it – in the beginning.

Also notice something here. Partly, what is done here is horrific, but partly it is sad, and as writers writing about such a situation we might imagine that our characters would break down in tears here. But notice: neither The Giver nor Jonas cries, even though we expect they might – especially with how The Giver felt about Rosemary. Well, here is a trick. Readers love strong characters. While they will understand if a character cries at a likely moment, readers will be more likely to cry when a character doesn’t, even if he has every reason to. Think about the scene in The Hunger Games, when Rue has been killed and Katniss makes a burial shroud of flowers and sings to her.  I was BAWLING. Were you bawling? And yet, Katniss is not crying. We know how deeply she is affected, but we admire her stoicism. The scene would not be as strong if Collins had wrote about her tears. So lesson to writers: find other ways to reflect grief. It will be more powerful than a bucket of tears.

*     *     *

And now….for the finish! Let’s go ahead and read those last chapters we’ve been dying to get to.

As you read the final pages, pay attention to how Lowry wraps up important themes. What lines or passages convey meaning to you? How do the smaller subplots become intertwined with the larger plot?

And then…the End…what feeling does Lowry leave us with at the end? Are we triumphant? Sad? Dubious? Hopeful? How does she create that final feeling in us?

Having read the entire book, what now would you say the book is about? Give us your review.

Savor the end and enjoy it! Have a great weekend!


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