The Giver by Lois Lowry: Possibilities

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Utopias are supposed to be the perfect society. No violence. No wars. No crime. No racism. Nothing bad at all. That all sounds very nice but at what cost. In The Giver, by Lois Lowry they live in their community fine but there are some set backs. They can not see color, they never hear music, everyone is the same race, and everyone matures at the same age. Its called the right of passage when they turn a certain age the community members get different jobs or have to do more mature things. Utopias are highly idealistic but they are defiantly not realistic.


In the society that Jonas lives in there are colors but no one can see them. The community decides to get rid of the color in peoples eyes because they do not want anyone to have any kind of choice. The community leaders do not want families in the community to have choices because if they make the wrong choice the utopian city might not be a utopia anymore. The elders of the society hide a thing called release from the people by telling them about it. But, The Elders tell them about if falsely so that people will not question them later on. They celebrate it because they do not want anyone to know what it really is.“I was notified by the speaker that she had gone directly to the chief elder and asked to be released”(Lowry 143). Since release is murder The Elders probably will not tell the community about it because if someone was experiencing a bad time in their life instead of suicide they would apply for release. Also since a receiver was released all the memories were too but not back to the giver all to the public. Then people know everything she knew and if their not even supposed to see color, they defiantly should not know about war, poverty and hunger. After people find out what it was everyone would probably start doing it just so they did not have to live their inadequate lives. So in theory it is better for the community to not tell them about it. Then again people deserve to know what is happening in the world around them.

The community also has very weird rules for instance, they can not comment on someone’s appearance or talk about their job or even brag about something good they do. Since everyone is the same or about the same no one should be better than anyone else. Normally if a rule is broken the person gets chastised. Other times, if they were to get in trouble it is publicly announced to the whole community so they feel embarrassed. They could end up being released because their crime or an inappropriate act was too big just to get yelled at or be made fun of. Kind of like when Jonas was playing catch with the apple, later on he was referred to over the loud speaker that food is to be eaten and not taken out of the eating area. Or when the pilot flew the wrong way over the city and went back to try to fix the mistake. The speaker tells everyone that he will be released later on that day. “Desperately the piolet had been trying to make his way back before his error was noticed. Needless to say, he will be released, the voice had said, followed by a silence”(Lowry 2& 3). Even flying the wrong way can get you released, so unless everyone is perfect, they will all be released sooner or later.


For some reason in Jonas’ community there are no weather conditions at all which is another odd thing about the community. It does not make any sense at all for them to not have weather. Possibly because extreme conditions can be dangerous. The people in the community use something called climate control. So nobody knew what hot or cold was; there was only one temperature and that was warm. For the first time is his life Jonas felt the feeling of freezing when he ran away from the community. “ he could barley move his freezing, tired legs” (Lowry 177). When Jonas felt the feeling to be cold it was miserable for him it was harder for him to do any and everything. After he power through the pain he supposable gets elsewhere. In the end either he and Gabe live better lives or they die in the snow, the reader chooses the ending.

The “perfect” life is pretty bad compared to real world. They have everything anyone could ever want but, they also have a lot of limitations. It just does not seem appealing at all. The real world sucks with all of the crime, violence, racism, rape, and everything else bad, but a lot more people would choose real life with all of that; instead of having everything in the world just not being able to use it the way they want to.





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