The Giver ---> relate to Haiti.  The Giver

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litteacher8's profile pic

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

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Any time a people are oppressed, they will eventually rise up.  Sometimes it takes a catastrophic act to make people realize that something is so wrong that someone needs to do something about it.  In The Giver, it was the returning of memories to the community when Jonas escaped. In Haiti, it was the earthquake.  People around the world are trying to rebuild Haiti as a less-impoverished and less-oppresive society, but it is going to be a long and difficult road.

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

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I think your comparison goes to the heart of the novel in looking at the possible benefits of living in a community like that of the novel compared to living in a world where there is freedom. Of course, Haiti is an example of a country which perhaps has used its freedom badly - it has been run by a series of dictatorships which have used and abused its people, so as some of the editors above comment, perhaps the security and the order of the world in this novel would be attractive. However, we always have to ask ourselves the question of what is the price tag to such strictly regimented order and safety. Yes, the human life as it is is uncertain and unpredictable, fraught with danger and terror, but is it really worth exchanging our freedom of choice for the kind of half-life that Jonas realises his community is living?

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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This is a very interesting comparison. Although I'm not sure they can easily be compared, I suppose that, as previous posts pointed out, I can see that in Jonas' community, natural disasters could never occur. In that way, what has happened in Haiti could never happen in Jonas' community. However, I think it is important that since so many perished in Haiti and so many things were lost, that it is important that the survivors fulfill the roles like that of Giver and Receiver. It is important for the survivors of Haiti, and even other people who have witnessed what has happened in Haiti, share their memories and keep the legacy of this culture and these people alive. It is important to tell stories of what has happened and the people who lost their lives so that their memory is not lost. As people, we can learn a lot from this disaster as well. It is important not to forget these people, not to erase the memory of this country's suffering. Haiti has still not recovered, and probably will not recover any time soon. We shouldn't forget about them, or write them off. And its important to learn from the mistakes about how to get aid somewhere quickly and how important it is to respond quickly when something like this happens. I think in some way we can all be Givers and Receivers of Memories. 

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anthonda49 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Though the people in Haiti have experienced much suffering, the colorfulness of their culture would not fit well with the Sameness. While security is nice, people will always strive to be a little better, stronger, more educated. Then I suppose these same people would be Released and keep the mediocrity intact.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I believe that you really have to use your imagination to relate the novel, The Giver, to the natural and social disasters in Haiti. As the previous post noted, the community in The Giver would certainly be a welcome relief to Haitians living in their present squalor. Although few people would prefer such a regimented one-dimensional life of the novel's community, the disaster in Haiti and the government's pitiful response simply goes to show the poor situation that it was in before the earthquakes. Being one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere backed by one of the most corrupt governments was bound to spell disaster for Haiti eventually.

As for the community in The Giver, this type of disaster could have never happened: Such natural variances--such as an earthquake or even snow or rain--were not possible there. The community was also well-prepared for any unexpected problems that might occur. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the experience of Haiti (you can argue) would show why people would want to live in a community like that of this book.  In the book, everything is under control and bad things like the earthquake cannot happen.

People say the community in the book is terrible because the people have no freedom.  But that also means that they have a lot of security.  The community would never let there get to be so many people that they became overcrowded and poor.  The community would never let such bad buildings (that would fall down so easily) be built.

In the book, the community has traded its freedom away, but in return has gotten security.  It is hard to know if that is the right choice, when you look at how horrible disasters like the one in Haiti can be.

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