How do I write a title for my essay about Jonas' society in The Giver?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When giving an essay a title, be specific and use the theme of your essay to guide you.

It is a little difficult to give you a specific title without knowing what you are writing about.  You are writing about Jonas’s society, and that means Sameness.  Jonas’s community controls everyone with this invention called Sameness.  It basically means that they have found a way to influence the environment, and even the population, to ensure that everything is under their control.

An essay’s title should reflect its theme.  My advice would be to choose something like this:

Conformity and Oppression: A Community of Sameness

This title uses your topic, Jonas’s community, but does not mention the title of the book or use the word essay.  If your teacher prefers adding the title, you could add the words “in The Giver” to the end.  Some teachers do not want the title of the book in the title of the essay, and some do want it.  You may want to ask your teacher his or her preferences.  If your teacher has no preferences, it is up to you. 

The words “conformity” and “oppression” I chose because of your theme related to community.   I think that your theme might be that forcing people to be the same causes oppression, or conformity causes oppression.  Basically, Sameness is oppressive.  Oppression means a tyrannical or cruel society where people’s civil rights are being violated.

Examples of this are in the institution of rules regarding release.  In the pursuit of Sameness, the community goes so far as to kill innocent people for breaking small rules.  For instance, the jet pilot is released just for accidentally flying over the community and scaring people.

For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure. (Ch. 1)

The fact that people are killed for small infractions is repeated later when we learn that if you break three rules you are released.  Any three rules will result in this punishment.  You do not even have to be an adult.  Grown people can make their own choices.  What about infants?

We learn about the release of newchildren early in the book, before we really know what it means.

Release of newchildren was always sad, because they hadn't had a chance to enjoy life within the community yet. And they hadn't done anything wrong. (Ch. 1)

Newchildren are released for not meeting the community’s strict growth targets.  It is not until later that we learn that this means they are being killed.  They even kill a newborn infant, just because it is a twin. It would be too confusing to have two identical people around.

When choosing a title for your essay, keep in mind these themes, and make sure that your essay title reflects the content and meaning of your essay.  Make your title dramatic and interesting, but do not make it so cute that it does not have any relation to your essay.  Focus on the theme and the relationship to your essay.

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