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Updated September 10, 2022

Society in The Giver by Lois Lowry

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Society in The Giver by Lois Lowry essay
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Imagine a place where there is no life, a place where people cannot see colors or feel emotional pain. Lois Lowry is a popular children’s book author. She won two Newbery Medal awards for books Number the Stars and The Giver. She is known for the novel, The Giver. She wrote The Giver because her dad was getting old and his memories were starting to fade away. The community within the novel, The Giver is not a utopian society because they have no choices, very strict rules, and their government controls everything.

No choices plays a large role in the community within The Giver. Making choices is a part of everyday life. Choices determine who we are. In the community where Jonas lives, people cannot make choices. For example, the community cannot see color except for the people who can see beyond like, Jonas. For example, Jonas starts to see the color red, “Ash, does anything seem strange to you? About the apple?”. Jonas was seeing the apple change color, he was beginning to see beyond. The community has no color to limit incorrect choices. Seeing no color is an example of a not so utopian society. Also, love does not exist in this dreadful community because people can make bad choices. That is why the community chooses the spouses for each other. Jonas once asked The Giver, “what if they were allowed to choose their mate?”. The Giver said it was frightening if people choose their own mates. The Committee of Elders matches perfect spouses using their knowledge. That is why they do not choose their spouses. There is no love in the community. That is why it is not a utopian society. Children in the community do not even get to choose their assignments. Their assignments are selected for them by the Committee of Elders. At the ceremony of twelve, the chief elder said, Today, we honor your differences. They have determined your futures. Everyone’s assignment gets chosen for them when they turn twelve. If your community has no choices it, unfortunately, is not a utopian society. Having no choices is a result of strict rules.

The Committee of Elders enforces strict rules on the community. The people of Jonas’s community cannot feel pain or emotions. For example, Jonas has to take the pills that are for treating stirrings every morning. Stirrings are feelings. The community forces the people to take pills for no more feelings. Every morning Jonas’s community is forced to take pills for no more feelings if you’re community has no feelings is not a utopian society. The second example of strict rules is sharing feelings and dreams. Family units inside the community must share their feelings at dinner time every day. They also share their dreams in the morning. The purpose of dream-telling is to see if the person has feelings throughout their dream because feelings are not allowed in the community. When it was Jonas’s turn to share his dream one morning he was strangely embarrassed to share his dream with his family because he had never seen a dream like this before. Feelings are important for everyone, it is an everyday thing if your community has no feelings it is obviously a not so utopian society. A third example of strict rules is that the doors in the community must be unlocked because it’s safe. For example, Jonas was surprised when he reached the annex because no doors were ever locked in the community. The attendant tells Jonas, “the locks are simply to insure The Receiver’s privacy because he needs concentration”. Doors should be locked in the community to protect their privacy if they are not, it is really weird and leads to it bring a not so utopian community. This is why strict rules in the community lead to it not being a utopian society. Strict rules are formed from government control.

Imagine a place where the government controls everything. The government in Jonas’s community controls everything including the climate. Jonas once asked The Giver “ But what happened to those things? Snow, and the rest of it?” “Climate control. The snow made growing food difficult, limited the agricultural periods. Unpredictable weather made transportation almost impossible at times. It wasn’t a partial thing, so it became obsolete”. That is why there is no weather in the community, it is bad for their environment. Some of the best times of people have been in the summer and winter. Without these seasons, life would be dull. There is also no animals in the community. For example, small children are given comfort animals when they are seven. Jonas’s animal is a bear, and Lily’s is an elephant. The community does not even know what a hippo is because they have no animals. A place with no animals is terrible. Any place without animals could not possibly be utopian. The government had also eliminated memories from the community. Memories are only kept with the receiver of memory. No one in the community is allowed to have memories because they can be painful. Some memories are wonderful, like the memory of snow. Jonas wants everyone in the community to have good memories, so that, they could all be equal. Life without memories and feelings can be dull. Having a society controlled is atrocious, this is not a utopian society.

Conclusion

Based on the above evidence, it is obvious that the community in The Giver is not a utopian society. The community has no choices, which means they cannot see color, choose their spouses or choose their jobs. They also have very strict rules that they have to follow like, their doors must be unlocked, they have to take pills that are for treating stirrings every morning and they have to share their feelings and dreams every day. Their government also controls their community by eliminating animals, weather and memories. All of these contribute to the idea that the community within the novel, The Giver is not a utopian society because they have no choices, very strict rules, and their government controls everything.

Society in The Giver by Lois Lowry essay

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Society in The Giver by Lois Lowry. (2020, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/society-in-the-giver-by-lois-lowry/

FAQ

How does the society in The Giver connect with our society?
In the same way we have mothers, fathers, and children , this is the only similarity between our societies. The difference is, families are assigned in The Giver and you are allowed only one boy and one girl. But our society families aren't assigned, we make our own families, and we can have as many children you want.
How is society controlled in The Giver?
The committee controls society by determining the birth rate, selecting what citizens will be released, matching spouses, organizing family units, and determining each citizen's occupation . Essentially, citizens are prohibited from making significant life choices and must obey the committee's decisions.
What social issues are in The Giver?
Some issues implied are: lack of individuality which allows for easy control, the abandonment of emotions and the importance of memories. Individuality is one of the key components of reaching the utopian standard.
What was the name of the society in The Giver?
On its surface, the world represented in Lois Lowry's The Giver seems like it would be a nice place to live. This peaceful society exists in an undisclosed location set off from the rest of the world and has been carefully designed into perfection.
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