Jonas’ community appears to be a utopia, but, in reality, it is a dystopia. The people seem perfectly content to live in an isolated wreck—in a government run by a select few—in which a group of Elders enforces the rules. In Jonas’ community, there is no poverty, starvation, unemployment, lack of housing, or discrimination; everything is perfectly planned to eliminate any problems. However, as the book progresses and Jonas gains insight into what the people have willingly given up—their freedoms and individualities—for the so-called common good of the community, it becomes more and more obvious that the community is a horrible place in which to live. You as a reader can relate to the disbelief and horror that Jonas feels when he realizes that his community is a society based on the false ideas of goodness. As Jonas comes to understand the importance of memory, freedom, individuality, and even color, he can no longer stand by and watch the people in his community continue to live under such horrible restrictions.
One reason I think their society was a dystopia is because you are never connected with anyone around you. You are placed in a family unit. You are matched up with a spouse, “Even the Matching of Spouses was given such weighty consideration that …adult who applied to receive a spouse waited months or even years before a Match was approved….” (pg.48). And you don’t even know the identity of your biological parents. How would you like not knowing? How would you like waiting for a family to be given to you on a silver platter? You didn’t love your spouse, you ‘worked well’ with them. You never could draw attention to a single person to make them feel like they didn’t fit in, Jonas doesn’t even worry about anyone not fitting in because…, “It didn’t worry him. How could someone not fit in? The community was so meticulously ordered, the choices so carefully made.” (pg.48). If someone was singled out or different, they obviously wouldn’t follow...
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