How does the justice system in The Giver relate to our society?Things like how they tell if someone is guilty or how they manage law and order.

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misterb200's profile pic

misterb200 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I agree with the previous comment. The justice system in The Giver is totalitarian - all powerful. It does not have checks and balances on its power, as our government does.

There are similarities to be found, though. All justice systems are imperfect. As a result, there are often arbitrary decisions made that affect innocent people and cause them harm. In this way, the system in The Giver is a cautionary tale about how the desire to create a perfectly ordered society will compromise fairness and humanity in order to achieve its aims. There are often calls for more law and order in our society. There are those who want to see the "letter of the law" applied to each case. But the reason we have juries and due process is to make sure that humans are not reduced to numbers and equations. The Giver gives us a look at what things would be like if they were reduced to such.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

We do not know a whole lot about the justice system in this society, but from what we can see, I would say that it is much more totalitarian than our own.

It seems that the leaders of the society can pretty much do what they want.  They can watch over everyone and know if they have done something like taking an apple out of the eating area.  That is something that we do not really do very much (that sort of constant surveillance).

The leaders also seem to have the ability to release whoever they want.  Remember, for example, how we heard that the pilot of the airplane at the start of the book was going to get released.  That sounds like they can just execute people whenever they feel like it.

So it seems like their system is much more totalitarian than ours.

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