How is Jonas' world in Lois Lowry's "The Giver" different from our world?

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Lois Lowry creates what looks like a Utopian world for Jonas' society in The Giver. Hunger does not exist. There is no hatred or conflict. Illness is a thing of the past. Everything is seemingly perfect. Many of us would like to see a similar world, but with that "perfection" comes all kinds of other possible problems. In Jonas' world, to keep everything running smoothly, the people must follow very strict rules. These rules apply to relationships, to what they do and say, to the jobs they are given, and especially to their behavior. Individuality is completely suppressed. Most of the inhabitants of Jonas' world seem happy because they've never known any other way, but when the reader looks closely, he/she will find that what looks good from the outside isn't all that good on the inside. Jonas and his friends have no freedom. All decisions are made for them. Babies are chosen for life or death depending on characteristics as simple as weight. Though most of us would like to see less hunger, hatred, conflict, and illness, few of us would be willing to give up the freedoms we have.

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