1 Answer | Add Yours
The society is The Giver has the appearance of a utopia, but throughout the narrative, is revealed as dystopic.
1) The society encourages homogeny. It is expected that each child will accept the lot in life they are given without question. It is when Jonas' begins to deviate from his role that problems arise. Also, the reader learns the world is seen in grayscale by almost all of society, meaning everyone looks the same. Another example is that each family is given the same number and gendered children.
2) The society encourages hard work. Each person is given a job. There are no homeless or out-of-work people in the society. It is expected that each person will do their job to the utmost of their ability--that is why the jobs are assigned specific to personality.
3) The society embraces prudence and chastity. At the beginning of the novel, when Jonas has the sexualized dream about Fiona that signals the onset of puberty, he is given a pill to suppress these feelings. He is not to have uncontrolled feelings towards others. Similarly, it is forbidden to see anyone naked except for infants and the elderly. Chastity is shown by the fact that because the adults in the society take pills to suppress sexual urges, there is no sexual intercourse between married couples. Babies are birthed by woman who are given this as their job, and adopted out to families accordingly.
4) Practicality. Nothing is done in the society that does not have a practical purpose. All jobs have a specific meaning, and almost all the unpredictable aspects of society--pain, pleasure, memory, sexual attraction, etc.--have been eliminated from the culture. Frivolity is severely frowned upon, as is failure, which is why a winsome character such as Jonas's friend Asher has such difficulties in the society at times. This encouraging of practicality could also be seen as embracing discipline.
We’ve answered 319,824 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question