In Gathering Blue, how does the law that governs the village seem similar and different from the laws that govern our lives? In Gathering Blue, how does the law that governs the village seem similar and different from the laws that govern our lives?

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Lowry is remarkably good at using the dystopia to make us look carefully at our own world. In this trilogy, she explores the tradeoff between personal choice and peace. Although our own world is not as stifling, there are similarities. We avoid discussing our problems. We accept the perpetuation of injustice if it makes our lives easier. We discourage change and find ways to avoid personal responsibility.
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I think that Lowry is trying to show us things that she thinks are wrong with our society in this book.  I think she makes their society seem like it's different from ours, but she is really trying to encourage us to think about whether our society really is that different.

For example, we would say that we do not force our poor to live in terrible conditions in a place like the Fen.  However, I think that Lowry is trying to get us to think about similarities with our own society.  You could argue that this is really a similarity with our own society because we have islands of poverty within our rich country.

Another example of this would be the treatment of the sick and weak.  Lowry is trying, I think, to get us to think about our own laws.  She is implying that our society really does condemn the poor and weak because we do not really take very good care of them through our social welfare programs.

So I think that Lowry is trying to get us to think about how we really are like this society.

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We need to remember that in this novel we are presented with a future dystopian society after the destruction of mankind and life as we know it through some terrible holocaust, though we are never told precisely how our world ended. The remnant of humanity are shown in this novel to be reduced to a basic level of civilisation, and are constantly threatened by starvation, hunger and even each other. It is this world in which Kira is left alone as an orphan. Because of the realities of this world, harsh laws have had to be made to ensure the survival of humans. Thus it is that children with deformities are exposed, and if one parent or both parents die, their children are often taken away and given to other families to raise. This sounds harsh, but it is actually a necessity given the realities of life. Laws are governed and upheld by a group known as the Council of Guardians, who have total power.

There may appear to be little that seems similar to today's world, as we fortunately enjoy luxury compared to this vision of our future and children are not exposed because of disabilities and single-parent families exist. However, I think one point of comparison that we can establish would be the way in which the law that Kira manages to recite to save her life from being stoned seems to be evolved from a Biblical principal: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." Surely we can find an echo in this in "If there is a death, the causer-of-death must die." The kind of laws that these people live under therefore do have a slight parallel with the laws under which we operate today.

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