If I Had the Power to Change... the Giver

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Jonas and the people of his community were members of a futuristic utopian society where organization and order were taken to such an extreme level that people lost the freedom to express themselves. Even though, at first the life in the community seemed orderly and peaceful, I found that such a life is not enjoyable. If I had the power to change anything in the story, I would use it to give the people the power to feel and express their feelings. The people of the community did not experience such powerful feelings as love, pain, compassion, and cannot express such feelings. Their lives are very structured and controlled. Every person in the community wears a tunic. All kids are labeled according to their age groups. The main life events of every age groups is pre-set by the elders, from losing a comfort object when becoming an Eight, to getting a bike, choosing one’s profession and even family. These people learn to adapt to the general stereotype and, as a result, lose their individuality. We learn that they can’t see colors. We also realize that there is no place for feelings such as love in this society. If I had the power to change anything in this futuristic society, I would use it to make these people see color. I think it would be a great first step in changing their lives. Then I would love to see them fall in love and feel other strong emotions instead of politely discussing them during dinner. While I appreciate the fact that all members of the community seem to be sure about their future, I think they miss an opportunity to actually live their lives. By showing them the colors and feelings, I would help them find a way to discover who they are. The controlled environment may help these people live their lives in order; however, their lives seem gray to me, as if with their failure to see the colors and to experience love, the color has drained away from their lives.
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