The Giver Questions and Answers
by Lois Lowry

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How is the world of the book The Giver related to ours?

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mwestwood, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Euphemisms for conformity and tragic situations such as death and mental handicaps, etc. abound in The Giver as well as in modern society. "Political correctness" and "Conventional Wisdom"  (both really oxymorons) are the mind control of the real world of USA.  The castigation of the liberal elite of university's professors' for their students who dissent are backward and ignorant is a type of mind control. (Time or Newsweek or the like published an article on how Conservative students were failed on tests, etc. at certain colleges--these articles can be found in their archives.)


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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are a lot of clues in the book that the community might have come from ours.  They use many of the same words, though often in different ways.  They have months, just as we do, and they even have the same names.  People also have simialr names to ours.

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stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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On a superficial level, there are some similarities - children go to school and have recess, adults have jobs. More significant, even at this level, are the differences between our society and the community described in the book - lifelong jobs are assigned by the committee of elders, thought control is medically enhanced, relationships between individuals are strictly platonic at all age levels.

On a deeper level, there have been and are groups of people and even some countries that work very hard to exclude all outside influence by severely restricting movement of citizens and controlling communications or contact with others. There have been and are examples of doctor-assisted suicide that could be seen as paralleling the Rite of Passage and Releasing Room experience of the elderly in the community. The treatment of the twin who was not thriving would probably be considered murder by our world. There have been and are groups of people in which a few leaders exert tremendous control over the lives of their followers through indoctrination techniques that can lead to unquestioning obedience as the leaders make all decisions.

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asliozcan | Student

I don't think our community and theirs have a lot of similarities. In our society euphemism is used to avoid saying something shocking like " dead" and The House of Old sort of works the same way (except killing them at a certain age) because some people don't want to take care of their elders anymore. Other than that in Jonas' community people's choice are made for them by others and they just follow the rules and the normal procedure and I think some people in our society are like them.

dilaraergul | Student

There has only two similarities between our society and their community. One of them is both of the places are to be administered by some people and the other similarity is we also have some rules and punishments. But when we look at their community, we can easily understand that the elders are unfair. Only thing they did perfect is House of old because nowadays some people dn't want to take care of their old parents so I think we also need a pace like house of old. To conclude, there has big differences between us and them.

lacinserraates | Student
How is the world of the book "The Giver" related to ours?

How is the world of the book "The Giver" related to ours?

I think our world and The Giver's world aren't that related. However, today we know just a little about how our community works or what is the exact system. It is the same in The Giver's world; they don't know about anything. They just follow the orders and instructions they were given without questioning. Of course it shouldn't be like that but they don't have any libraries -except The Annex- or somewhere they can reach data.

secondly, House Of Old. We both have it in our worlds. Again it is a bit different but purpose is the same; we want olders to be in comfort. In our world sometimes youngers take of their elders but House Of Old is much more logical. In The Giver's world every old men and women go to House Of Old with no exceptions and they are released when the time comes.

eggebraaan | Student

In "The Giver" the society is set up to ignore and reject individuality. Each person is assigned a job and purpose and they are taught not to question anything. Though it seems like our society is the opposite of that idea and is instead one that encourages individuals to be unique, it hasn't always been like that. I believe that it's in social constructs that "The Giver" parallels current society. There are still certain social expectations that influence and often dictate an individuals life. The book was also written for a middle to high school reading comprehension and what is the biggest challenge young adults  experience? Peer pressure. The idea of sticking out, blowing town and sledding down a huge hill when nobody else is doing it doesn't sit well with the average young adult. The saying "If they jumped off a bridge would you?" applies to any young adult book that challenges readers to not be a slave to the "in-crowd." So in my opinion, the world of "The Giver" is related to our world's peer pressure, societal rule and negative attitude towards individuality.