The Giver

February 13, 2009
By shameir hanson BRONZE, Newark, New Jersey
shameir hanson BRONZE, Newark, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments


Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream was for everyone to be equal and the same. When everyone is equal and the same their freedom and that person's identity is confiscated and obsolete. Some will think that being the same and equal is a good thing, I strongly disagree. An example of where sameness and equality not being the best option is in the novel The Giver, written by Lois Lowry. The book is about a utopian society where everyone lives identical to each other; there no are differences between two neighbors except their job, which is a huge role in the community. There are also numerous rules that everyone in the community follows. As a reader the rules were strange but to the community in the book they were normal and also kept control in the community. While reading the book, I notice that each character believed what was told to them. As you read further in the book you see that the community is filled with hidden secrets and lie, which takes away the character's freedom and the character's identity.

In the novel, The Giver, Lowry uses a very sophisticated method of writing which is being subtle and making her search for the deeper meaning or message. Lois Lowry uses subtleness to convey that a utopia takes away identity and freedom in numerous situations in the book. To being, the community in The Giver is colorblind except a handful of people. Jonas, the main character, is in this group of exceptions. He turns out be the new Giver, the holder of memories. But before he becomes the new Giver, he goes through some confusing issues. In the text it states, 'Jonas stood for a moment besides his bike, startled. It happened again: the thing that he thought of now seeing beyond. This time it had been Fiona who had undergone that fleeting indescribable change. As he looked up and toward her going through the door, it happened; she changed. Actually, Jonas thought, trying to recreate it in his mind, it wasn't Fiona in her entirety. It seemed to be just her hair. And just for that flickering instant.'(91) Lowry uses subtly in the situation. Jonas is now starting to see color, but he doesn't know. Lowry does a good job as hiding what is going on with Jonas. She never says Jonas is now seeing color; she vividly describes the scene but also makes it confusing to the reader so you would have to go back and figure out what is going on. She also makes, Jonas feel confused because he knows nothing about color because of the community's control which allows certain people to see color. This also shows Jonas' freedom is taken away because he can't see the vibrant colors of the world and also he is limited to what he can and can't do. Secondly, this takes away from Fiona's identity because she doesn't know that she has long red hair. She only see black and white no colors that set her apart from others.

In the novel The Giver, the overall theme is in order to have control in a utopia freedom and identities have to be taken away. In the book there are many rules that the community must follow everyday. If they don't not then that member will be released, killed by lethal injection. In the text it states, ''speakers seemed to develop, saying things like attention. This is a reminder to females under nine that hair ribbons toward Lily and noticed to his satisfaction that her ribbons were, as usual, undone and dangling. There would be an announcement like that quite soon he felt certain, and it would be directed mainly at Lily, though her name of course would not be mentioned.'(20) In this situation, the reader can see how the citizen's freedom is taken away. The freedom of the citizen was taken away because in the community the children can't choose what they want to wear. Also they have to be dressed a certain way to be looked at as correct or proper. Secondly, this takes away from their identity because the utopian society forces everyone to dress the same. In the community no one has style and don't know each other. Lastly, this is where control comes in because when the community is force to wear then there will be no teasing or comparisons about the person or their family about how they dress compared to another family. Another example of the community's freedom being taken away is when Lily, Jonas sister, mentions Jonas' 'funny' eyes. It states in the text, ''And he has funny eyes like you Jonas! Jonas glared at her. He waited for his father to chastise Lily'Almost every citizen in the community had dark eyes'but was considered to call attention to things unsettling or different about an individual.'(20) This shows that the community hides the identity of the citizens that are different. This keeps the different citizens from knowing and this is a lie. This is a difference from the real society because of instead of lying to the citizen that is different we seem to laugh and also point out their flaws like Lily did to Jonas.

To conclude in the community of The Giver the citizens have no freedom or sense of who they are. In today's society this is the total opposite. If we had the same society of Jonas' then the world will be different than what is it today.

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