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The Giver - Essay

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The Giver - Essay

The novel ‘The Giver’ was written by Lois Lowry. It’s about a boy, Jonas, who lives in a highly controlled world. The Elders of the community try to make the community a utopia but in fact they take away human privacy and freedom of choice. They kill people without the individual knowing what is happening to them. The Elders take away life and what it means to be human.

The Elders spy on the community constantly. Surveillance is on every corner and in every home. Part of being human involves having privacy. To be human needs to have freedom of choice. When Jonas took and apple home from school once an announcement indirectly told Jonas, ‘Attention: This is a reminder that snacks are to be eaten, not hoarded.’ This small act of intrusion had made him feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. The Elders also tape people being ‘released.’ During training with The Giver, Jonas was given the opportunity to watch a releasing. He was ‘astonished and delighted this was available to him.’ This takes away human dignity because the person doesn’t know that they are getting taped while getting killed. Therefore the Elders take away what it means to be human by spying on you.

The Elders don’t let the community have freedom of choice. They are not allowed to choose their job, spouse or even children. For the choosing of the jobs, the community has the Ceremony Of Twelve. This ceremony is when the Elders choose ‘Assignments’ for all the twelve year olds. Whatever assignment they give the twelve, they must have and if they don’t like it, there is little hope that they will assign to them another. The Elders also choose families. It is stated in the rules, ‘Two children - one male, one female - to each family unit.’ There is no freedom of choice there. And without freedom of choice, in Jonas’ case, his family doesn’t have ‘love’ towards one another. A reason for this is because no one in the community has the feeling ‘love,’ due to the Elders taking it away. When Jonas asked his parents if they loved him, his mum answered, ‘Do you understand why it’s inappropriate to use a word like ‘love’?’ If there was freedom of choice in the community people would love one another meaningfully. Therefore the elders take away important decisions of life and feelings which make us human.

Imagine killing someone and covering up? Imagine killing someone almost everyday and you manage to cover it up! The Elders cover up people being ‘released’ by telling others you will be going to ‘Elsewhere.’ Many people look forward to it but never get there. When a person in the community becomes very old or they are criminals they get ‘released.’ Which means they get taken to a room where a needle get inserted into their arm and that executes them. The person doing this then disposes of the body down a rubbish chute. It is not fair because the person performing this cruel act doesn’t know what he is doing because ‘death’ is an unknown happening in the community. Also, if there are twin babies the lightest one out of them gets released. Apparently it ‘would be confusing to have two identical people walking around,’ Jonas explains to the Giver. However this is before Jonas watches his father kill a baby. Of course, throughout the releasing, Jonas’ father is clueless about what he is actually doing and even ‘waves goodbye’ to the baby as he puts it in the rubbish. This act is cruel and everyone has a right to live. Therefore the Elders take away the right to live which destroys your destiny.

In the community the Elders have taken away the rights of being human. They spy on the community and choose people’s lives and families. They also take away human life while covering it up by making everyone clueless. Lois Lowry is trying to tell us that being human means to be independent and and individual rather then having ‘sameness.’

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