The Utopian Community in the U.S.
In the year 6486 this utopian community, people in the U.S strive to be equal and same. But the receiver quickly feels something is wrong with this perfect society. He starts to remember human emotions such love, hate which others don’t seem to have the say memory. As the Giver explains to the protagonist Jonas, our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We took away color when we gave up sunshine and did away with difference to make it a more simple way of life. We gained control of many things, but we had to let go of others. Jonas gradually learns the truth about his society and its past as well as it’s future. After Jonas was selected to be the new Receiver, he realized the vast social cost to achieving perfection.
Over time, they realized they could even forget what the rest of the world had been like. They also realized they needed to have some memory of what things were like. The burden of everyone having those memories could lead to differences and conflict, so it was decided to select one person per generation to hold the memories of it all. That person is called the Receiver.
To maintain this, a council of Elders oversee people’s lifestyles down to the last detail to prevent them from making the “wrong choices.” Everything from a person’s job to one’s spouse is planned and assigned by the State. In addition, social norms have been so programmed into the people that it is, as Jonas explains, “considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals.” Absolute equality was finally achieved, but at the heavy price of individual humanity which has been paid over the years.
On page 95, Jonas and the Giver are discussing the color red. Fiona’s red hair–something that is different than the rest of the community is brought up. The Giver says, “We’ve never completely mastered Sameness. The genetic scientists are still hard at work trying to work the kinks out the giver said. Hair like Fiona’s must drive them crazy.” Despite The Community being established and doing well, there are still issues in the design keeping the genetic scientists “hard at work” to keep everyone the same and avoid differences. The Giver goes on to talk about the importance of Sameness. “We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” Sameness allowed The Community to control every aspect of life–food, age, the day, the weather, etc. It kept people from being able to make choices, which, in turn, also made people in The Community fully controllable.
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