What does The Giver mean when he says the society went to Sameness? Is Sameness the absence of difference?
Yes, Sameness is the absence of differences within the community in which The Giver takes place. Long before the time in which the story is set, the community made the decision to adopt Sameness as the basis of its existence.
Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.
Sameness meant that all aspects of life were controlled so as to be as uniform and unchanging as possible. Weather was controlled so that there were no extremes or variations. Housing and meals were provided by the community so all could have equal conditions. Children were dressed in the style of clothing designated for their age. All citizens were provided with a bicycle for transportation when they reached the appropriate age. Work assignments for adults were determined by the Committee of Elders and were not open for debate or change - all persons did what they were told to do.