There are definitely some benefits to the multitude of rules governing Jonas 's society. Thanks to their highly-organized and regulated world, no one in Jonas's community goes hungry. No one has a need to be afraid. There is no pain and not even a memory of hardship. Everyone in the...
There are definitely some benefits to the multitude of rules governing Jonas's society. Thanks to their highly-organized and regulated world, no one in Jonas's community goes hungry. No one has a need to be afraid. There is no pain and not even a memory of hardship. Everyone in the community is always treated with dignity and respect. Thanks to the rules, there is always peace, harmony, and positive thinking.
Yet all of this peace comes with a weight that the citizens of the community literally cannot fathom—and that in itself is due to the rule relegating memories to the role of the Receiver. Therefore, the world of the present is the only world the community is aware of. Spouses are chosen not in a loving decision between two people but in a governmental application process which weighs out strengths and weaknesses of the potential husband and wife in each match. Families can never consist of two brothers or of five siblings. At most, spouses can receive exactly one son and one daughter.
Rules dictate that birthmothers will be employed to produce the children for the community, and each one will have exactly three children. The rules create a society which devalues biological connections and even devalues "parents of the parents," or grandparents and other ancestors, which Jonas considers later in the novel.
Jonas's community leaders originally formed a "perfect" society through lots of rules that they thought would allow for optimal happiness, comfort, and organization. But Jonas grows to realize that all of these rules have not created a perfect society; instead, the people are deprived of any meaningful relationships or of any deep emotional connections. They all exist superficially, more concerned with making sure hair ribbons are neatly tied than in supporting an infant who fails to thrive after birth.
When Jonas realizes the ultimate lies the rules enforce, he comes committed to changing them.