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What is Lois Lowery's commentary/criticism about society through her creation of a...

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kbauer5092 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM via web

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What is Lois Lowery's commentary/criticism about society through her creation of a dystopian society in The Giver? 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:54 AM (Answer #1)

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The famous director Elia Kazan once stated that unless people have great struggles in their lives in which they overcome their hardships, they will never become worthy human beings. This observation is underscored by John the Savage in Brave New World, a stellar dystopian novel, when he tells the world leader that he does not want to feel good all the time,

"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."

Lois Lowry's tempered The Giver has much the same message. In order to protect the citizens of the Community from disease and discomfort, there is a controlled environment and everyone has been equalized and desensitized. Jonas, having been chosen as the one to carry the memories of what real life is like, comes to realize the tremendous sacrifice of people's humanity in a world in which there is no pain or hunger or disease or war. It is merely an anesthetized world; it is not genuine. A controlled social order is, indeed, costly to the individuality and the soul of man.

After Jonas finds the other world that is real and like the memories which the Giver has bestowed upon him, he approaches the top of a hil.

He was not warmer; if anything, he felt more numb and colder. He was not les exhausted; on the contrary, his steps were leaden, and he could barely move his freezing, tired legs.

But he began, suddenly, to feel happy.

Jonas now feels truly human, alive and genuine.


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