Society of The Giver
“There’s absolutely nothing we can do. It has constantly been in this manner.” Think of a world where everything was the very same. No difference, no outliers, nothing out of the regular. In the so-called utopian society of The Giver, the neighborhood which the main character, Jonas, resides in is precisely like this. The society which is depicted in the story is an impression of what a paradise is. Through the relationships that we have the ability to see in the story, such as interactions with the opposite sex, Jonas’s relationship with the Giver, and relationships between relative, we can plainly see that the idea of an utopia has actually clearly been misinterpreted by the society and its leaders.
In the society of The Giver, interaction between members of the opposite sex is clearly limited. When Jonas goes to the House of the Old, he helps the senior by bathing them. Even though this is an example of simply a young boy helping the society, a guideline in place exists, which states that it is “against the rules for kids or grownups to take a look at another’s nakedness; but the guideline did not use to new children or the Old.
” (Lowry 30) Clearly, the idea of a utopian society can not be maintained by intimacy, or simply look at another individual’s naked body. Likewise, when Jonas informed his intimate dream with Fiona at the Home of the Old, and wanting to bathe her, his parents right away offered him pills so that he would never ever experience the wanting ever once again. Despite the fact that this shows that the interaction in between opposite genders is profoundly restricted, it shows that there also is very little liberty inside The Provider’s society.
It shows that they all have to believe the very same method, and not experience any wanting within. Another manner in which the society limits relationships with the opposite sex is when you recognize that there can be no intimacy whatsoever. In the society of The Provider, everyone is designated a job, and they stay with that task their entire life. Individuals are not given any liberty to select which task they would like. One of these tasks is being a birthmother, which essentially is a person who brings to life the society’s children. In this method, it reveals that Jonas’s moms and dads never in fact conceived Jonas, nor ever had any intimate relationships with each other, despite the fact that they are couple.
The relationship between Jonas and the Giver is much more free than between those who live in the Community. When Jonas is first introduced to The Giver, he does not understand many of the things which the Giver says, simply because he has never experienced them before. When the Giver starts to compare being the Receiver of Memory to a sled slowing down while it pushes more and more snow, Jonas is completely puzzled, as he has never seen snow, nor a sled. As he starts to accumulate more memories from the Giver, he realizes what a great world it truly was, until people started to turn to Sameness. When the Giver starts talking about Sameness, it is implied that he refers to the physical sameness of the land, because he was talking about how all hills were leveled, and all snow disappearing.
The use of the word “sameness” can be used to talk about the land, however, the use of the word could have a metaphorical meaning to explain the psychology and behavior of the people who live inside the community. The word is a powerful metaphor to the emotional and psychological monotony of the inhabitant’s lives. As his relationship with the Giver moves on, you start to see Jonas perceiving the world in a different way, even though it is already apparent that he does this in the beginning. He starts to learn all about color, and he starts to see it more in the Community. It shows that the gap between Jonas and his society is widening when you see that he is curious, and starts to question the values that society had brought him up with. When he tries to transmit the memories of color to his friend Asher, and to Lily, he fails, simply because the two of them are just physically incapable of perceiving colors. A clear disadvantage of the relationship with Jonas and the Giver is that he starts to alienate himself from his own society.
Last of all, the problem with The Giver’s society is that it cannot truly create any real family bonds between people and their family. In the society, monotony and sameness are the values that are truly apparent and seen in the story. Inhabitants in the society have become accustomed to living in that way for such a long time, that they forget to have feelings, and grow out of ever living with passion. In Jonas’s society, as mentioned above, jobs are chosen by the Elders for the people who live in the Community, and they stick with that job for their entire life. As mentioned before, birthmothers contribute to the society by giving birth to babies.
The babies are actually assigned to a couple, who are also chosen by the Elders. In truth, the baby is not from the parents that take care of them. In the society, love does not exist, mainly because the so-called families who live with each other do not love each other. It takes a lot to love a child who is not yours. When Jonas is introduced to the memory of Christmas, he realizes what love is. “Jonas repeated it. ‘Love.’ It was a word and concept new to him.” (Lowry 125) Also, an example that clearly shows that love is not apparent in the society is when Jonas asks his parents whether they love him or not. They respond with the saying that love is meaningless, that love is without a doubt obsolete. Although the bond between Jonas and his family is a close one, it is not deep and not complete, because of the lack of love.
The society which Jonas lives in is a one that has been in many modern societies of today. For example, Soviet Russia, as well as China during the Cultural Revolution. In the Soviet Union, people believed that uniformity and monotony were the core values of the country, and should always be upheld. Just like in the Community, the Soviet government also arranged who you were going to marry, and how many kids you would have. Just like each individual government of a country, they believe that their way of government is still the best, just like the Elders think that Jonas’s society is a utopian society, when regretfully, it is not.
Even though the Elders believe that the society in which their people live in is a utopia, through the relationships that were stated above, it is strongly stated that it clearly is not. Through the absence of love, constrained friendships, and alienation from his community, Jonas is clearly unhappy in the situation in which his community has been put in. The way that this community has been manipulated has clearly been shown in the wondrous story of The Giver.
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