Describe the economy and society of the community in The Giver.

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

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The society and economy of The Giver is basically an oligarchy.  Everything is controlled by a committee of Elders.  The rules have been historically made by the Elders.  There is no money.  Each person’s needs are determined by the committee, and everything a person needs is delivered.  People do work, but they do not get paid.  Jobs are assigned by committee when a child turns 12, and training begins then.  Food is commonly held, and no one is allowed to hoard.  In fact, Jonas is reprimanded for taking home an apple instead of eating it or leaving it in the communal area.

The society has strict rules that are expectedly to be perfectly obeyed.  Anyone who breaks a rule three times is “Released,” a euphemism for a lethal injection.  Children are trained from an early age in precision of language, which means telling the truth and not offending anyone. 

Families are formed artificially, for the purpose of raising children.  Each family one boy and one girl, but they are not related.  A family is formed when two adults apply for partners and are paired by committee.  Then they apply for children, one at a time.  After the children are old enough they go off to live on their own and the family unit is dissolved.

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