The Giver - Essay

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Paula Barragan
Period 2
Ms. Bui
11.01.12

Euthanasia becomes a very important topic and conflict in ‘The Giver’ as Jonas realizes what ‘releasing’ really means. What impacts him the most is the fact that his own father is the responsible of many newchildren, or newborn children, being ‘released’. Which leads him, Jonas, to take a really important choice to make the Community realize of what really happens and not just what they know. In our society, euthanasia is a very relevant concept, due to the fact that there are times where it’s better, from a person’s point of view, to just let the person that is really sick and has no choice but die. In ‘The Giver’, “releasing” is a very bad thing, it’s “a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure” (pg.2) Though in some rare cases it would also be the last thing someone can do to a person that has no choice, such as “newchildren”. “There were only two occasions of release which [are] not punishment” (pg.7). The release of the elderly and the release of a newchild, though the Elderly would celebrate for a life well and fully lived, whereas newchildren didn’t have a chance to live their lives. One of the biggest moments in the book that leads to Jonas to flee the community with Gabe is when he watches his own father make a releasing ceremony for a twin baby, this shocks Jonas since up until then he didn’t really know what happened during releasing; something that most of his community doesn’t know either, “those who were released – even as newchildren – were sent Elsewhere and never returned to the community” (pg.43) Once Jonas watches his father release the newchild twin, or kill it, he also pictures the memory of the soldier dying that The Giver had given him before and makes the connection that even though those memories don’t exist anymore to the people in the community, they still somehow do it for the ‘better’ of the people, the newchildren, and the old. In our society,...
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