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"A Perfect Day" and The Giver (a comparison)

Man envisions Utopia as an ideal functioning society free of political conflicts, where social equality allows citizens to peacefully live their lives. The poem, “A Perfect Day”, and the novel, The Giver, both similarly relate to this idea of Utopia and how man’s ideas change in regards to it. The vision of a Utopian society is easily idealized by mankind, but the actual fulfillment of this fantasy has not yet proven to be possible, due to the imperfections of human nature. Both of these literary pieces portray somewhat of a perfect setting, resembling a Utopia, but reveal a dissimilation of their perfection at the conclusion. These pieces are similar in exemplifying how Utopian-like communities may be possible for a short time, but they are not able to function forever.

The Giver simulates a futuristic community of sameness and equality, that has eliminated all pain, fear, war, and hatred. There is a complete lack of color, emotion, and individual personalities in this society, to prevent the variations of human nature to interfere with the perfect order that maintains the Utopian peace. Though the citizens are not allowed to make any choices of their own desire or free will, this society does embody the aspects of a Utopia. That is, until the eleven-year-old Jonas is given the heavy task of holding the entire community’s memories, and becomes overwhelmed with the newfound experiences that are revealed to him. After being exposed to this plethora of expressive human emotions, he is compelled to share his treasures. At the novel’s conclusion Jonas devises a plan to escape his Utopian community and venture into the land of Elsewhere, the land filled with color, animals, and freedom. After leaving, the mass of memories that Jonas held filled the bleak society with a sea of thoughts and feelings naturally experienced by humans, that the people were forced to come to terms with. Jonas’s actions forever altered the society by not only introducing the happiness and freedom of the memories, but by also introducing human error, bringing along societal flaws such as violence, war, and hunger, and destroying the previous Utopian way of life. Though this perfect community was functional for a period of time, the decision of Jonas to alter this lifestyle exemplifies the impossibility of a infinite Utopian existence. This diminishing of a Utopian setting can be seen not only in this novel, but also on a smaller scale in every-day situations.

The disheartenment experienced at the conclusion of an enjoyable day is exemplified in the poem, “A Perfect Day.” The contrast shown between the pleasure remembered from the journey of the day, and the sudden realization of its end as the sun begins to set, can be related to the situation of an end to a Utopian setting. Friends begin to leave as the sun sets, colors begin to fade, and people are left alone with only memories and joyful visions of the time preceding dusk. This poem has a tone of sadness when describing how this perfect day must come to a close. This resembles the idea that humans are happier in a perfect, Utopian environment, and when their own errors destroy the chance of maintaining such a setting, it is a sorrowful, but inevitable event. Just as the sun will surely set on a perfect day, the flaws of human nature will always destroy any attempt at a lasting Utopian society.

Though a Utopia is idealized by mankind, the natural instincts and flaws imbedded within every human being will continue to prevent any long-lasting establishment of a perfect society. The devolution of the Utopian-like settings in both the novel, The Giver, and the poem, “ A Perfect Day,” exemplifies how a continuing society free of political conflicts, where social equality allows citizens to peacefully live their lives, has not been proven to be possible, and is inevitably destined to fall apart.




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HOPEMVP said...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 11:53 am:
Good review but the books are NOT my FAVORITE. Though excellent composition. Everybody has a right to their own opinion. (I mean the last 2 sentence in a good way)
 
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Lilly101911This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 30, 2009 at 7:27 am:
I had to read the giver for a reading asiment and i have to say i hated it
 
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