What are the advantages of release in "The Giver"?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel, there appear to be several advantages to release. However, remember that these so-called advantages can only be viewed through the lens of the novel's dystopian world. In reality, since release constitutes state-sponsored violence against individuals, the advantages of release can be said to be ambivalent at best.

Having said that, I would like to highlight the advantages of release, as portrayed by the novel:

a) The old and the infirm need no longer burden society with their needs. Release will effectively liberate citizens from the responsibility of ensuring the welfare of a large segment of society. As such, the release of an elderly person is considered "a time of celebration for a life well and fully lived."

b) Anyone who breaks the rules three times will be summarily released; this means that there will be virtually no crime to tarnish the peace in this dystopian world.

c) Identical twins can be released without question; usually, the smaller and weaker twin is chosen for release. In this way, society will not need to be burdened with overpopulation.

d) Any "newchild" who does not gain the required weight and who fails to sleep soundly through the night (well enough to be placed with a family unit) can be released. This again means that society will not need to be burdened with the care of children who fail to thrive.

e) Anyone who feels that he/she does not fit in can obtain permission to be released. Those who suffer from extreme  debility can also apply for release. The right to be released allows citizens to decide their fate in the midst of suffering and affliction.

 

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The Giver

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