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Rocket clouds

1. General Info

1.1. Type: novel

1.2. Date of publishing: 1993

1.3. Genre: Young adult; science fiction; fantasy; dystopia

1.4. Setting: A utopian community that is part of a larger utopian society, presumably on Earth; unspecified time in the future

1.5. Summary

2. Author

2.1. Lois Lowry

2.2. 1937 -

2.3. American

2.4. Known for writing about difficult subject matters - has explored such complex issues as racism, terminal illness, murder, and the Holocaust

3. Characters

3.1. Jonas

3.1.1. sensitive, intelligent

3.1.2. strange powers of perception

3.1.3. can see colour

3.2. The Giver

3.2.1. Receiver of Memory

3.2.2. uses his wisdom to help the Committee of Elders make important decisions

3.3. Jonas's Father

3.3.1. mild-mannered, tenderhearted

3.3.2. Nurturer: works with infants

3.3.3. must "release" children if instructed to do so

4. Vocabulary

4.1. Chapters 1-4

4.1.1. palpable

4.1.2. chastisement

4.1.3. remorse

4.2. Chapters 5-8

4.2.1. reprieve

4.2.2. transgression

4.2.3. meticulous

4.3. Chapters 9-13

4.3.1. prohibited

4.3.2. conspicuous

4.4. Chapters 14-18

4.4.1. forsake

4.4.2. assuage

4.4.3. ominous

4.5. Chapters 19-23

4.5.1. augmented

4.5.2. rueful

4.5.3. languid

5. Plot

5.1. Conflict:

5.1.1. Jonas’s new emotional and sensory awareness cause him to rebel against the restrictions his society places on freedom of choice, individuality, emotion, and human experience

5.2. Rising Action:

5.2.1. When Jonas becomes the new Receiver, he receives memories that change the way he thinks about himself and his community forever.

5.3. Climax:

5.3.1. When Jonas realizes that when his father “releases” newchildren he actually kills them, Jonas reaches a point of no return. Finally Jonas cannot accept the society’s insensitivity to the value of human life. He determines to change thing

5.4. Falling Action:

5.4.1. In order to put his plan into action, Jonas flees the community on bicycle with the newchild Gabe, evading search planes and enduring hunger and pain to try to bring feelings and color to his community and bring himself to the world he has dreamed of knowing.

6. Themes, Motives & Symbols

6.1. Symbols

6.1.1. newchild Gabriel symbol of hope and of starting over

6.1.2. sled symbolizes his entry into a world where colour, sensation, and emotion exist in reality, not just in memory

6.1.3. river symbolizes escape from the confines of the community

6.2. Motifs

6.2.1. vision Jonas’s perception of colour symbolizes his perception of the complicated emotions and sensations that other people cannot perceive

6.2.2. nakedness moments involving physical nakedness are closely related to the idea of emotional nakedness

6.2.3. release actually refers to death—or murder—in Jonas’s society

6.3. Themes

6.3.1. importance of memory without memory, there is no pain

6.3.2. relationship between pain and pleasure members of Jonas’s community cannot appreciate the joys in their lives because they have never felt pain

6.3.3. importance of the individual Jonas’s development into an individual, maturing from a child dependent upon his community into a young man with unique abilities, dreams, and desires