The Giver, written by Lois Lowry (1993) is a fictional novel about a boy called Jonas and how he responds to his community’s lack of choice and individuality. The novel explores Jonas’ encounter with memories of the past, and how he feels towards the lack of freedom within his highly controlled society. As the novel develops Jonas starts to question the ways In which his community work and disagrees with the strict laws of his society. People in the community In The Giver are unable to make choices on their own, much of their lives are pre-planned and organized.
The community believes that in order to up hold a safe and painless lifestyle, people are forbidden to decide things for them selves. In the society that Lowry has created, people are told who to marry, what to wear, how many children they can have, where to live, what Job they will have and what to feel, resulting in living predictable and controlled lifestyles with out choice.
Due to the fact that the community has no knowledge or memory of the past, they cannot make choices of the future and are instead governed by a strict set of rules.
Jonas’ community fears that if people are given the freedom to make their own choices they might make the wrong one, thus destroying the Illusion of their ‘perfect’ society. When Jonas discovers memory, he realizes that choice Is power and Is essential to human happiness. At the start of the novel Jonas Is as oblivious as anyone else about the way he Is living. He has grown up with strict rules and discipline, and has accepted this way of life because he doesn’t know any other type of existence.
But as he receives The Giver’s memories, he learns he truth about his community, that it is hypocrisy and that the people have sacrificed their individuality and freedom to live as robots. As the story continues the author changes Jonas’ character and he experiences an external conflict between himself and the community. He is frustrated and angry because, as Jonas has said to Gave, he wants his community members to change’ and give up Sameness. But the people can’t change, as they know no other way of life. As Jonas experiences human emotion, he comes to believe that it is cruel to allow people to continue living In numbness.
He makes his first real choice In life when he decides to escape from the community as an act of love towards those who are Incapable of loving him In return. By leaving, Jonas is able to give the people of his community feeling and freedom of choice. After reading The Giver and reflecting upon its issues and themes, I think that everyone deserves to have a choice, and that we get to choose what we do in our own life. People should be able to take control of the way they live, instead of another person deciding for them.
Living in a world like Lowry has depicted, may sometimes me ideal; there would be no war, no pain, no fears, no discrimination and no conflict, we can live in peace and tranquility. But perhaps there are sacrifices we would not be so willing to make. We would have to sacrifice choices and deep emotions such as love and happiness. Although in sameness we would never know the meaning of loneliness, we wouldn’t know true happiness either. Emotions Like happiness and love are some of the best feelings people will ever experience, and without them, a society Isn’t able to function properly.
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