Can you Imagine a world without pain, warfare, poverty, hunger, or terror? Sounds pretty good so far, right? Now, take away feelings, love, diversity, choices, and even the ability to see colors. It doesn’t sound so great anymore, does it? Some people may consider such a place a utopia, shielding its inhabitants from all evil; others would say it is a dystrophy, in which no one has the right to speak out, have choices, or to love one another.
In the novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, a 12-year-old boy called Jonas finds himself in a dystrophy when he realizes that there Is more to life outside of is sheltered community.
Although the people of Jonas’ community know no different than their way of life, the society Is a dystrophy, rather than a utopia. ” ‘It wasn’t a practical thing, so it became obsolete when we went to the Sameness. ‘ ” (84) The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is told from the perspective of a twelve- year-old boy named Jonas growing up in a Utopian society.
At the Ceremony of Twelve,where every Twelve receives their life-long occupation.
Jonas finds out he has been selected to be the Receiver of Memory, the most honored of Elders. The current Receiver, called Giver by Jonas, transfers memories of pain, Joy, feelings, and color to him. As he receives each memory, he yearns for a life outside of the one he has been trapped in for so long. This book proves that being “perfect” is not as great as it sounds. The Sameness, what the Utopian society Jonas lives in was based upon, has no real benefits to the community because there are no feelings, no diversity, and no choices. Everyone In Jonas’ community feels the same way towards each other, which means that they have no feelings.
This makes it harder for them to have empathy. It was your first Stirrings… You’re ready for the pills. ‘…. He swallowed the pill… The feelings had disappeared. The Stirrings were gone. ” (37-39) This quote is evidence that there are no feelings in this society. The Elders even make more emotional citizens (teenagers and adults) take pills to subdue their feelings. ” ‘Love. ‘ It was a word and concept new to him. ” (125) When Jonas Is transmitted the memory of love, he perceives the feeling and repeats the word to himself because he has never used that word before, let alone known what it meant.
This is yet another fact that proves hat the community cannot benefit from not having any feelings. Without feelings, you cannot have empathy. Empathy is important; it helps us understand what the other person Is feeling and helps someone learn how to deal with a problem independently. But if the other person isn’t feeling anything, then you cannot have empathy. Not having empathy also makes It harder to have friends. Without diversity in a community, it’s harder to have friends and learn team- building skills when you have so much in common with them. “His childhood, his friends… -all that seemed to be slipping away from him. 135) This quote was pulled from the part after Jonas has been transmitted all tons of memories via the Giver. Once he’s had a taste of color and life and feelings and his knowledge has been common with them. ” ‘You ruined it,’ Asher said in an irritated voice. ” (134) Asher says this when Jonas has been transmitted many memories by Giver. Jonas ruined their game because it depicted war, which is the memory Jonas was transmitted recently. Even though it doesn’t explain it explicitly in the book, Jonas also stops it because he feels like he has too much in common with Asher and the others.
Think about your best friendships over the years. In most cases, inseparable friends have a few similarities but some differences as well. Friends are vital; someone can learn the same skills they would working in a team and more: politeness, compromise, kindness, etc. These qualities are very important in a person. Someone can also learn some of these skills from mistakes. In The Giver society, there are no choices that could make you more diverse than your peers. Without choices, citizens are missing out on important life lessons that can help you later on in life.
Asher ran through the standard apology phrase rapidly, still catching his breath. ” (3) One of the rules in The Giver society is that you must apologize each time you break one of the rules. If someone is given the choice to apologize, they will gradually understand why they apologize: to show that he/she is rueful of their action(s). If they are forced to do it, it becomes mindless and doesn’t mean anything. “Two children-one male, one female-to each family unit. It was written very clearly in the rules. ” (8) Another rule in The Giver society is that there is a MIT on how many children you can have.
If you decide to have a third child (in the real world), but decide it is too much work, you can put the baby up for adoption and know you should only have two children. Without choices, there are no mistakes. Without mistakes, there are no lessons learned. The community in The Giver is a boring and uneventful town in a Utopian society. There are no choices, no feelings, no diversity. Those are key elements on the road to being successful people with the ability to live in their own. Therefore, the Sameness has no real advantages.
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