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Comparing the Giver to Omelas

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West 1
Tyler West
January 9, 2012
Period 4
The Giver and Omelas
Period four honors English read the two science fiction books, The Giver written by Lois Lowery, and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” written by Ursula LeGuin. The Giver describes an anti utopian society where everything is the same. Food is equally given to everyone, they are chosen a job for them, there is no color, and everything in this society is said in the book as “sameness.” When it is time for Jonas to be chosen a job, he is given the job of “receiver.” Jonas accepts only knowing this job requires a lot of pain but a lot of honor. And with all the new knowledge Jonas gains he defeats the complacency of the society, and the realization of the true reality rocks the society. “Omelas” is a story about a city with egregious living conditions that like “The Giver” have a scapegoat. But instead of having emotional pain it has physical pain. It is beat and starved to the point of emaciation. People come to see the horrid child and leave with an emotion of sorrow and aghast. Some are even so petrified they leave the city towards the unknown. Since both of the cities in these stories are anti-utopian they have many similarities between them. An adolescent takes the role of main character in each story. And they both have to bare all the pain to prevent all others from experimenting pain. They are what would be called a “scapegoat” for each city. Another similarity is that all the people are forced to take drugs to prevent them from getting out of hand. And, in the end of each story people choose to leave and this is what makes them each anti-utopian.
West 2 Now with a lot of similarities come a lot of differences. Both stories have “scapegoats” but they are very different. In “The Giver” he is honored and given free terrain to go where ever he wanted. In “Omelas” it is mistreated beat and locked in a cell room. And, they both suffer in different ways. Jonas has to suffer emotionally and the “it” in “Omelas” endures physical pains such as being beat and malnourished. Both of these stories delve into the form of utopian societies where citizens give up all personal desires to become a social power house in whole. But everything good in life comes with a price. In both stories a single personage is chosen to endure all pain for the sakes of others. In “The Giver” Jonas suffers egregiously, but lives a life of part luxury. While the It in “Omelas” lives a life of non stopping pain with no end. These stories should help one realize the life lesson that affects, actions have on others make a big difference, so it is best to think of the outcome before doing anything detrimental.

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