Thursday, May 30, 2013

The ending to 'The Giver' makes me angry.

     Honestly, I despised the ending to The Giver.  It just made me angry.  I hate ambiguous endings that could go one way or the other.  I'm the kind of person who has to have a final answer, not something you have to think of for yourself.  The suspense is killing me slowly.  However, I think the ending suited the book.  It made you think, just like every single word inscribed on every single page.

     Everybody is practically punching each other to find the true ending of the book.  People are fighting and debates are erupting.  Did Jonas live?  Did he die?  And what about Gabe?  Did Gabriel manage to survive?

     Even the teachers are beginning to fight. In this excerpt from an interview with Lois Lowry, Lois merely tortures everybody even further by not giving a direct answer.

     "Student Question: My teachers argue over the ending of The Giver! How does it really end?
Lois Lowry: It ends with Jonas and Gabriel going downhill in a sled toward a house with welcoming lights. Ho ho ho. Aren’t I a mean author, not to be more specific? I like it when you argue. It makes you think."

     In this interview, Lois obviously wants to keep the answer a little bit more discreet.  She wants the debates to occur.  Stating that she wanted people to think only means that this book was indeed intended to force others to put their mind to something and ponder about it.  Perhaps this means that there is no exact ending.  Perhaps the Giver is endingless, up to your mind to decide what happens next.

     In another interview, Lois takes a side with the happier ending theory of Jonas and Gabe living:
  "I will say that I find it an optimistic ending. How could it not be an optimistic ending, a happy ending, when that house is there with its lights on and music is playing? So I'm always kind of surprised and disappointed when some people tell me that they think that the boy and the baby just die. I don't think they die. What form their new life takes is something I like people to figure out for themselves. And each person will give it a different ending."

      Lois Lowry hints at the giant possibility of Jonas and Gabriel living.  She states her clear opinion on what happens.  However, she still agrees that she likes people to think of the ending for themselves.  In many other interviews, she states that she wants people to come up with the ending for the book on their own.  Maybe Jonas  and Gabriel died, or maybe they lived.  But for now, it is rather unclear on what Lois Lowry wants us to think.

     Personally, I believe Jonas and Gabriel are dead.  For example, on the top of the last page in the book, it says that Jonas could feel himself losing consciousness.  If he were going to live, why was he going to lose his consciousness?  And if he did live, where would be 'make it' to?  Where was he going?  I think the lights and the things Jonas saw were simply hallucinations, his last thoughts as he pummeled to his death.  It was clearly his favorite memory, and it would be a lovely thing to imagine as you pass.  The visuals and the music was Jonas's imagination, or perhaps it was simply his 'passing' into Heaven or the world beyond death.  The lights and the music could have been 'ghosts' greeting him into the past.  
     In the last paragraph, the book reads, "Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps it was only an echo."  This could mean that the entire thought of music and lights were an echo of the past.  The memories he held could have been echoing throughout his last moments and through the Community.  After Jonas died, the memories, the feelings, and the colors would have gone back to everybody.  And that was Jonas and the Giver's dream- To be able to let everybody else experience what they could experience.  Jonas was simply the sacrifice to allow this to happen.

     Although it may not be true, I still believe Jonas and Gabriel have gone to Heaven.  Lois Lowry is trying to keep the ending as much of a secret as possible.  Whether or not Jonas and Gabriel made it to their destination, I believe The Giver was an excellent novel with a unique story line and a fantastic setting.  Lois Lowry definitely made us all think about what the ending could be, which sparked some healthy debates all across the world.  Until I read The Messenger,  I suppose the ending will be a mystery.