Essay on the The Giver Comparison of Book and Movie
“The Giver”, a science fiction novel, is based on the concept of a dystopian world, the opposite world of utopia. The story has a two version of book and movies. These two share common similarities and differences. Theme, plot, and character, are one of many similarities. However, the way it develops the theme of the story differ. In the book version of “The Giver”, Lois Lowry, the author, develops the theme through setting and inner and outer conflict of Jonas. However, the film, by Noyce, exceeded in developing the theme of the freedom to embrace emotion and the right to have own choice because the film utilizes several different aspects that effectively convey the viewer to the theme, characterization of character and ending.
One of the major difference, and the reason why the film is better, found in the characterization of Fiona, who is one of Jonas’ best friend from his childhood. The character appears to play a supporting role in the story of the book version, whereas in the movie, Fiona is an indispensable character. In the end scene of the movie version, Fiona finally accepts Jonas’s decision to escape from the society and help him as he tried to steal Gabriel from the nurturing center before the ceremony of release by making security guards from Chief Elder bewilder. She grabs an empty cradle and runs out to the opposite way the Jonas went and draw all the attention from the security guards even it meant to sacrifice herself. (Noyce) In other words, the film showed Fiona as a dynamic character. The book did not illustrate the scene. Fiona in the book was more static and viewed as an acquaintance of Jonas which never helped Jonas for the plot. In the movie, Fiona says, “I felt something. Something that has stolen from us. I cannot describe it, but Jonas knows what it is.”
In other words, she understood the stirring that Jonas has been feeling. Initially, Fiona was more obedient to society and solemn to follow the rule. However, in the ending, she helped Jonas and Gabriel to be freedom even it is against the rule. This indicates that she is a dynamic character because she changed her mind and determined to support Jonas. The quote implies her transition of mind from society to what she had experienced with Jonas. This makes it easier to convey the theme of feeling natural and emotions, the doubt about restricting people from feeling free. In addition, there is a love story included in the film which is not in the book.
After the advisory Jonas told to Fiona not to take the morning injection, Fiona and Jonas begun to feel the emotions and bond between them which they fell in love. This also expresses the string emotion inside Jonas’s heart and escalate the feeling inside him clearly, leading to another theme, “Freedom of Feeling”. Some who prefer reading the book version may argue that Fiona’s characteristic negatively affecting the picture of Jonas. Because he has a supporter, Jonas does not feel different and alone as is illustrated in the book. However, Fiona’s characteristic and the relationship between Jonas plays a big role in highlighting the theme and outcome. Fiona’s existence contributed in the film by affecting the motivation to defy against the system of the society and convinced the decision Jonas made to scheme the plot to run away from the law and restriction under the authority of Chief Elder.
Additionally, the film is more effective than the text because of the ending. In the text version of “The Giver”, the narrator reveals that “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 just an echo.”(Lois Lowry, 163) In other words, he had reached the place where he pursued his journey. Even though we can infer he reached the place where he pursued through his long journey from society, the ending is purposely ambiguous that lead some to only guess what happened to Jonas at the last. It arises a huge question in the reader and the story ends in the book.
What happened to Jonas? Did he reach Elsewhere? Or Did Jonas died? On the contrary, the film portrays the little details of ending and reveals the survival of Jonas through the extreme severe condition. He finally sheds the snow hill and reaches the faint blue colored “boundary” and storm into to it, creating a great ripple that goes right to the community. This successfully portraits that he succeeded in reaching the Elsewhere in the book. Also, the ending added suspense by risking Fiona’s life. As soon as the memory returned to the society, memories flew rapidly to their head, rescued her from completing the ceremony of release. This gives the audience a better idea of the theme by portraying the desperation to defy the community that they should never limit people from “seeing beyond”. Some might think the ending should have remained vague so that they can use their imagination as a true ending of the story, but showing the ending visually made it clear that Jonas reached the place, satisfying the audience, and created a suspenseful mood.
The movie strongly established the main idea and message that feeling and emotion of love cannot be lacked to live life fully through utilizing two elements effectively in the story, characterization, and visual ending. In every remarkable story, a clear theme is established through a clear ending and illustrating relationship is contributing to a strong message from the author.