In The Giver, what is the Matching of spouses? Do you think this is a good or bad idea? explainIn The Giver, what is the Matching of spouses? Do you think this is a good or bad idea? explain

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lowry's utopian society, family units are decided by the Committee of Elders, who examine and consider what adults should be matched together after each adult applies to receive a spouse. The concept of free love and individuality does not exist throughout the highly organized community, which values stability and safety over individuality and freedom of choice. Each family unit consists of one male and one female adult, as well as two children of opposite genders, given that the Match meets the requirements to raise children. The Committee of Elders takes into consideration compatibility, intelligence, interests, and personality during the process of the Matching of Spouses. Once the adults are Matched, there is a three year period that the couple is analyzed to determine whether or not they can apply for children.

In my opinion, the Matching of Spouses is a good idea in the context of Lowry's utopian society because it accomplishes the community's specific goal of stability and conformity. The delicate, in-depth process allows The Committee of Elders to Match compatible adults, which will not upset the community's balance. However, individuals who value their freedom of choice would not be in favor of the Matching of Spouses. They would find it frustrating giving the power to choose their spouse to complete strangers, who have the community's interests in mind.

jessecreations eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the community of the novel, spouses are matched based on compatibility.  The committee of elders makes the matches and assigns the marriages.  In this society, it makes sense; in order to preserve the peace and order in the community, it is important to match couples based on compatible traits so that harmony at home will be ensured. 

It is important to remember that all sexual desire has been removed from this society by the pills that the citizens take when they begin to feel "the stirrings."  As such, ideas of attraction or romance do not factor into the marriage relationships.  While the matching of partners may seem clinical or strange for us, in their society it is all a function of the preservation of their way of life.

slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interestingly enough, some cultures actually do this, with arranged marriages and all. And many seem to think that match-making works. If you think about it, many people in the US do online dating and that is a very similar idea, where people are matched by their compatibility based on the information on their online profiles. 

In Jonas' community, the couple only needs to get along, as there is no love involved at all. It's almost as if they are just picking a roommate -- they have to be able to live together and function as a "family unit." 

dilaraergul | Student

It is a good idea if you are living in a community like that. This community is "dystopia" and elders try to make it "utopia" in their mind. If they have a chance for choosing their spouses, their emotions and feeling should come out. Because of that their spouses are given to them without their acceptance.