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Friday, September 11, 2009

Gathering Blue

So I just finished reading the companion novel to "The Giver" - "Gathering Blue." The Giver piqued my interest because of the parallels to 1984 - a so-called utopian society that, frankly, wasn't. It wasn't quite dystopian either - it wasn't a bad future, just... overly controlled.

I tend to like dystopian stories - where the future isn't so shiny and awesome, but downtrodden and depressing, because it reminds me that we must take control of our destiny or else the futurewill turn out negatively. Blade Runner, Running Man, Terminator, and the Fifth Element are excellent examples of this. But in the case of The Giver, we have an alright future, if you can stand being emotionless and oppressed... from birth to release.

I don't think I could handle being emotionless again. At one time in my life, I used to think it was important to repress my emotions, bottle them in, appearing like nothing bothered me, nor that I could ever be happy. I'm not sure why I became that way - it was an emotionally turbulent time for me, where I wasn't associating well with others, going to a school in another town where the special ed program was hosted, and having none of my schoolmates living nearby to make friends with outside of school. Truthfully, my emotions didn't make things easier to deal with, as I was seen as an angry, brooding, negative teenager, even in school. I'm glad I was able to find an appropriate outlet for my feelings, because I get the impression most people now think I'm positive, happy, and outgoing.

I liked how the Giver explored the dangers of mindless thinking. In the book, we are led to believe that "release" is some kind of exile, leaving the society because of the inability to fit like a square peg into a round hole - but later it is revealed that permanent death is the result, and not even given a second thought, like it was routine and normal.

That leads me to the next book, which is fresh in my mind and I'm still digesting it. I'm not sure how it's linked to The Giver - there's absolutely no indication that it's even set in the same time period. The only themes I see similar are the level of control and ritualism to keep things the same year after year - but to what end? To just keep the society intact forever? To remain in power, no matter how little influence one exerts? It feels like the two books didn't explore this aspect enough, the motivations behind the control and routine. Mayhaps in the 3rd book, all will be revealed....

Okay, time to wake up! Got a big day today, DPHH tonight at Tanner's Bar and Grill, then a full-up weekend ahead of me. Looking forward to it!

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