In The Giver, what does it mean when Jonas says we have to protect people from wrong choices? And is it true that since everyone is the same in the community, there is equality?

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In chapter 13, Jonas and the Giver discuss colors and the inability of community members to see them. More importantly, the option to choose between different colors is automatically taken away from people because they can't see them. Jonas is frustrated because of this, but as the conversation develops, he says that it is probably better that people don't choose their own mates or careers. Jonas says that if people chose their own mates and jobs, it would be "very frightening. I can't even imagine it. We really have to protect people from wrong choices. . . [It's] much safer" (98-99). Apparently, in Jonas's community, they value controlled safety over freedom of choice and allowing people to make mistakes.

People are equal in many ways in this community because any choices of preference have been taken away. This does create equality because they have limited options in life to choose from. If everyone only has the same number of choices to make each day, and none of them are choices of unique preference, then there is an equal playing field for life. However, once one person is able to make a different choice than others in the community, there is inequality. The consequence of just one person being able to choose something different from someone else can create envy and strife. Once that happens, equality is eliminated.

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