Dystopian Characteristics of the Giver

Topics: Utopia, Dystopia, The Giver Pages: 2 (675 words) Published: November 21, 2013
        Lois Lowry's The Giver introduces the reader to the perception of a perfect society based on sameness. The story revolves around young boy named Jonas living in a "perfect" world called The Community where there is no pain, war, or fear. The weather and every citizens emotions are under control. To everyone living there, the community might seem like the perfect place to "live", but they never get to experience what it truly is to live. The creators of Jonas's community created a society based on their idea of a utopia, when in reality it is not perfect at all. Specifically, the ideas of no freedoms, no diversity, and no pleasure are examples of dystopian characteristics.

        Unlike a utopian society, the citizens have no ability to chose. They do not get to decide what life will be like for themselves, but instead they are each given an "assignment" when they reach twelve at the Ceremony of Twelve. Each citizen is expected to follow the strict set of rules and regulations, including precise speaking and shared feelings at dinner. Every person receives a bike when when they reach nine and that is the only method of transportation allowed. It is against the rules to use a bike before you reach that age. A formal apology is necessary under all circumstances. Having strict laws and regulation eliminates a place for free will. No one in the community is given the ability to chose. Even the Giver did not chose his position. The Giver states, "'It's the way they live. It's the life that was created for them. It's the same life that you would have, if you had not been chosen as my successor'" (Giver 153). By this he explains to Jonas that the people who created the community determine how each individual lives. Jonas is one of only a couple who didn't have to follow this predetermined path.

        The makers of the community, the Giver explains, "'made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness... We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and...
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