In The Giver, how is work distributed and where do they get their food? For example, how would potato chips be made?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Giver is a communist society, where work and resources are shared.  There is no money, and everything a person needs is provided.  People do not make choices as to what food they eat, and I doubt potato chips would be available.  Since the community is engineered for sameness and it is important for everyone to be healthy, snacks like the apple Jonas keeps are more likely to be provided.  Processed foods like potato chips would be avoided.   Any food that is grown or manufactured would be produced by those people deemed by the community most fit to do the work, but otherwise the process would be basically the same as ours.

tinicraw's profile pic

tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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People in Jonas's community have jobs assigned to them by the elders. Some people are intelligent enough to hold administrative jobs; others have service-oriented jobs; and there are also those who are assigned to be laborers. For example, in chapter three, Lily is taught that Birthmothers may be treated well for three years while they give birth to a few babies, but after that they are sent to the fields to work until they enter the House of the Old (27). Therefore, some people are assigned to be laborers and some are Birthmothers who rotate into the fields when they are finished having children.

If potato chips were made in this community, the potatoes would first be grown in the fields and harvested by laborers. Although not mentioned specifically, there must be a food processing department which cooks and prepares food for the community. Then there is a department called Food Distribution. The people who work for the Food Distribution department deliver healthy meals to dwellings each day. These meals never have more calories than each person needs per day. That way, they can control the effects of obesity and food-associated illnesses. Since potato chips aren't very healthy, the community probably wouldn't make them, but there is a department for everything the community has decided people need to live healthy and peaceful lives.


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