In The Giver, why does the community have release?

5 Answers | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The Community has Release as part of its design to maintain a world that is always under control. 

This dystopian world controls the environment, people's thoughts, words, emotions, urges, and activities. The flaw in such control is that it is maintained partially through elimination. This elimination is given the euphemism "Release." 

Perhaps more than any other facet in the "Community," Release is the most unnatural. Despite the orderliness, the predictability, and the ease of life, there is much that is missing and imperfect in the lives of those who dwell in the world of young Jonas. The "release" of all the negatives in life diminishes the possibilities of a real life. Moreover, Release is actually a cruel method of controlling society. Individuals are killed if they do not meet the requirements of this severely structured society that relinquishes much in order to be stable.

In Chapter 19 Jonas witnesses his father "release" a baby by injecting something into a vein at the top of the newborn's forehead. "He killed it. My father killed it." Release is nothing more than execution.

Sources:

Top Answer

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The community in which Jonas and the others lives is based upon sameness - all residents conform in all ways of life, thought, activity level, and everything else. The community can not and will not deal with individuals who break the rules or have exceptional needs or in some other way do not conform to the expectations of the group.

"Release" is the name for the process that eliminates nonconformist individuals from the community. In some cases, release is a beautiful thing. Larissa was greatly moved by the dignity and the serenity of Roberto's release celebration.

He just bowed to all of us and then walked, like they all do, through the special door in the Releasing Room. But you should have seen his look. Pure happiness, I’d call it.

Other releases are not for such tranquil reasons. The pilot of the jet that mistakenly flew over the community was released after his navigational error. Gabe was in danger of being released because he wasn't growing and maturing at the expected speed.

Release allowed the community to continue to function as it had chosen to do.

Sources:
brandih's profile pic

brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted on

This question has been previously asked and answered. Please see the link below, and thank you for using eNotes.

We’ve answered 319,812 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question