The concept of a utopia often comes from science fiction novels. Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End and Lois Lowry’s The Giver both establish a utopia using control and advanced technology to maintain its perfection. Although society developed in the novels signify civilization reaching higher human potential, creating a utopia proves high cost for both societies in similar ways. The two utopias use manipulation as well as isolation to manage society, but among the perfection, hidden flaws exist within the perfect world.
In the two novels, leaders of the utopias create rules and use technology to manipulate residents on Earth so they can gain control. In Childhood’s End, the Overlords monitor every human being’s actions, using citizens’ fear to manipulate them (Clarke 207). The Giver’s community also controls citizens, the Committee of Elders make decisions for them, reducing the number of mistakes within the neighborhood (Lowry 62). Clarke and Lowry both establish a utopia using mind manipulation in order to maintain perfection, but hidden flaws still exist in each society.
Utopian societies in both books contain hidden flaws affecting citizens’ life. As the number of entertainment increases, Jan Rodricks and other residents resist against Overlords’ control to achieve intended goals (Clarke 83, 136). Boredom in human life leads to curiosity as well as dissatisfaction, causing massive chaos within the utopia. In The Giver, residents do not have the right to live a unique life, since the elders decide jobs, spouse, and the number of kids to maintain the balance of the community (Lowry 11). The equality within societies leads citizens to abandon human’s ability to create and improve but also reduces resistances against the governing body. Clarke and Lowry’s societies involved flaws and dystopian characteristics, revealing the imperfection within the utopia. The mistakes within the utopias also uncover errors of ultimate control behind all perfection.
The utopias in both stories isolate residents in order to maintain authority. Karallen separates Earth from the universe and forbids humans to travel through outer space (Clarke 115). The Overlords isolate Earth from other planets to ensure citizens’ safety and to control the utopia in a more efficient way. While Jonas’ community eliminates residents’ memories, Receivers have the responsibility to collect them (Lowry 129). The lost of memory wipes out pain and depression, but it also breaks the bonds between citizens. The authors of both books include isolation as a major part of utopias to explain the high cost of making a perfect society.
In order to make an ideal utopian society, citizens in both books must give up several similar parts of their lives to reach the target. Both utopias’ governing body manipulate and isolate residents to maintain control, but within the perfect world, hidden flaws exist. Utopias will continue to remain in science fiction novels as well as movies, and will not be practical in modern-day countries since the price of perfection sacrifices the human desire to create and the rights to pursue happiness. However, a utopia will exist in the future if the government diminish human rights and the citizens’ accept a world with no freedom and liberty.