Comparative Analysis of Movie and Book "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

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Comparative Analysis Of Movie And Book “The Giver” By Lois Lowry

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There are many differences between movies that are created by using inspiration from books and the original book. We wonder why they do this, is it to make it more interesting or to add suspense to the audience? Every movie uses inspiration in many different ways.

The giver novel written by Lois Lowry and the movie directed by Phillip Noyce shows many differences. For example Jonas, Asher and Fiona are way older in the movie than the book and show a lot more maturity. Jonas is sixteen instead of twelve in the “ceremony of twelves”. The producers most likely added this change to make the movie more romantic and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. While reading the book you get a mental image of the community being very poor, old and having a very rustic feel. The movie on the other hand is very futuristic, modern and contains technological advancements. For example in the book when Jonas started to get stirrings he had to swallow a pill and in the movie there is an electronic injector that injects them with medicine through their wrists, it will alert them if they forget to take it unlike the pill. The community also had drones and hidden cameras.

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In the book Jonas was different from the others and stood out because of his “funny eyes” that him, The Giver and Gabriel shared, in the movie they had identifiable birthmarks on their right wrists, this was how Jonas was determined to be different. Their birthmarks is also where the medicine was injected. When jonas would go to the giver to receive memories in the movie the giver would grab Jonas by his forearms and that’s how to memories would be transferred. In the book Jonas would lay on a table and the giver would press his hands on jonas back to give him the memories. The movie producers most likely did this to make the moment look way more intense and focused. The Giver is very different character in the book and movie, He’s a lot friendlier in the book and doesn’t seem so depressed and grouchy and The Giver doesn’t butt heads with the Chief Elder in the book like he does in the movie. The novel also makes it very noticeable and dramatic that the Giver loses each memory when he transfers it to Jonas, but in the movie it seems that the Giver still has the memories he shares with him. A lot of the memories we saw Jonas receive are different from the book’s versions. Instead of Jonas experiencing pain from a sunburn as his first experience with pain, Jonas gets stung by a bee. In the book the giver transfers a very old memory of war when horses were used and this becomes a memory from Vietnam in the movie which causes Jonas to be brought to the floor in pain, this does not happen in the book.

The Giver is occasionally in too much pain to transfer memories, and when that happens Jonas gets the day off in the movie.It’s in Jonas rules that he is not allowed to share his trainings with anyone else in the community. Jonas asks his parents if they love him and more. The movie highlights that it’s a struggle for Jonas to hold in all of the memories that he has received. He kissed Fiona and teached his sister to dance. He took Fiona sledding and he tried to explain love. This causes him to be noticed by the elders which put him in danger. Fiona also had a big part in the movie. In the book, Jonas has stirrings about Fiona. He eventually kisses her and tries to share many of his experiences with her which was not allowed according to his rules. This changes her character in multiple ways. As a nursery worker, Fiona was also able to to help Jonas escape and to be targeted by the elders for release.

Another difference in the movie from the book is that when asher was playing “war” in the park Jonas got mad because of the memory it reminded him of unlike the movie where a group of kids were playing ball in the park. There was a lot of yelling, screaming and movement in the park which reminded him of the memory he recieved of the Vietnam War. At the ceremony of twelves everyone was assigned different numbers, in the book he was number nineteen and in the movie he was number fifty-three. In the book the biggest number that each group went up to was fifty, so it makes you think that there is only fifty in each group. Unlike the book Jonas was fifty three. The community is way bigger in the movie and had at least one hundred in each group. Asher was chosen to be the recreation director in the book and was picked to be a pilot in the movie. Fiona also had a change in career. Fiona wanted to work at the house of old, this is where she spent most of her free time at in the book. She loved to be around the elders and was a natural and caring and talking to them. In the movie she was interested in being a nurturer, if this wasn’t her job in the movie, the ending would be completely different. She wouldn’t have been able to help Jonas when he tried to take Gabriel with him, or help Jonas locate him at the very end of the movie. If Fiona had a different job in the movie, it would have been very difficult for Jonas to leave the community and successfully bring Gabe with him.

At the very end of the book there was a river. In the movie, there was an edge. After Jonas went over the edge he kept going straight to try and reach the boundary of memories, which held all of the memories. In the book it was much simpler to deliver the memories, all Jonas had to do was cross the river and the memories started coming back to everyone in the community. The book and movie were very different but were both very good in their own ways.


I think it’s very rare that a movie is better than the original book. The first difference I stated was about the differences of ages in the characters. I think this made a drastic difference in how each character felt and acted toward each other, especially Jonas and Fiona. Jonas was sixteen which made his feelings for Fiona more accurate according to our day and age. Jonas is more likely to have passionate feelings for Fiona being sixteen and not twelve. All of the characters being aged up also gave the movie more romantic qualities and made the characters more mature with their decisions.

Another drastic change is how the community is portrayed in the book. While reading the book we get a feel that the community is very old and poor, I thought that the setting was set in the past. When I watched the movie I definitely had the “wow”effect. When the movie showed all of the houses with clean lines and all of the technological advancements. For example, the drones, electronic injectors, the way they dressed and the hidden cameras with microphones. With all of the technology it made it harder for Jonas to escape. For example, in the book it was much easier for Jonas to escape with Gabe unlike the movie were It took a lot of thought and planning for the, to escape.

The community seemed much larger in the movie than in the book. During the ceremonies the ID numbers were changed to much larger numbers giving us the idea that there is a lot more members in each “class”.I enjoyed reading the book this summer. I like that each memory was explained in detail and the book was very hard to put down. I think I prefer the movie over the book but both were great. I like the movie more because it was more futuristic. I also enjoyed the in depth feelings that Jonas and Fiona had for each other.

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