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The class had to read the book ‘The Giver’ written by Lois Lowry and published originally in 1993. The book had themes associated such as the importance of memory to humans, power, rights, responsibilities, dystopian societies, and more. However, the author made connections with all themes in the novel, and the question that connects the themes of power and responsibility is: how does the author explore the idea that with great power comes great responsibility? There are many ways that the author has explored the idea of ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, one is Jonas’ ability to see beyond, being chosen as the Giver, and the power to stop the ‘release’.

Jonas acquired a power that only a few had in the community, the ability to see beyond, he had slight glimpses of the color red before being chosen as the Giver. “But suddenly Jonas had noticed, following the path of the apple through the air with his eyes, that the piece of fruit had – well, this was the part he couldn’t adequately understand – the apple had changed. Just for an instant. Then it was in his hand, and he looked at it carefully, but it was the same apple. Unchanged. The same size and shape: a perfect sphere. The same nondescript shade, about the same shade as his own tunic” (Chapter 3, p.39). The extraction above justifies Jonas’ ability to see beyond before being chosen as the Giver and being handed the power to see colors. He had also seen her friend’s hair turn into the same color as the apple, just for a moment. This had been an ability that he obtained but didn’t know about, it had been his responsibility to share this ability once he learned about it, and he also had immense power to fulfill these responsibilities and more by crossing the boundary of memory.

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Being chosen as the Giver at the Ceremony of Twelves provided him with powers that were accessible to very few citizens. These powers had been to see the memories from the past that had been abolished, such as dancing, singing, emotions, and more. The memories had been abolished to bring sameness, to remove cruelty and memories that brought envy, jealousy, and more. However, Jonas saw that happiness outweighed the cruelty and wanted to expose these feelings to everyone. It had now been his responsibility to set the memories free to the communities, to bring back color, emotions, and the lost rituals. He had acquired the power of lying and doing things that had been against the community rules and planned to cross the boundary of memory.

Before leaving, Jonas had learned about the ‘release’ which had meant death. Jonas remembered Gabriel being released since he had not qualified to be given to a family. After knowing that Gabriel was about to be killed, it had been his right, responsibility, and under his power to save a young child’s life. Gabriel also had the same mark as Jonas and thought he was going to be the next Giver. Before leaving, he had taken Gabriel with him and saved a life.

The author, Lois Lowry, had provided examples of having responsibilities when given such power, in the context of the book. A few of the important examples had been: the power to see beyond, being chosen as the Giver, and saving the life of a young child. The author explored the theme of ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ by the protagonist, Jonas, protecting the others with his power, in this case, passing the boundary of memory to return all the memories lost from the communities. The author in the book uses descriptive language and writing techniques such as personification, metaphors, etc.

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