In The Giver, why did the community relinquish the ability to see color?

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Color means difference; it means variety and multiplicity. In a society such as that depicted in The Giver, where Sameness is the guiding principle of the community, there is thus no room for color. Everything must be brought down to the same level of drabness; everyone must look the same, act the same. Even the weather must be the same each gray and miserable day.

As the Giver tells Jonas, in order to gain control of certain things—such as the weather, for example—the community had to let go of others. And one of the things it got rid of was color. Just before the Giver tells him this, Jonas remembers the sled from the previous day, which was a beautiful bright red color. This is a memory from a time, long since past, when color was an important part of the community's life, a time before Sameness became the order of the day.

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The book tells us that the decision to move to climate control removed most colors. Thereafter the ultimate decision was made to minimize as many differences as possible genetically, thus, very little variation in eye, skin, and hair color.

"We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference."

Sameness became the overriding requirement of the Community members. People like Fiona were considered technically "imperfect" because of the maintenance of the bright red hair which, while invisible to most Community members, directly opposed the guidelines of Sameness. It is certainly a comment--as are the pale eyes of Jonas, Gabe, and the Giver--regarding the inability of individualism to disappear completely, no matter the circumstances.

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Why don't they see colors in the book The Giver?

In The Giver, Jonas becomes aware that certain things begin to look different to him. For example, he notices a change in the appearance of an apple, in faces in the crowd at the Ceremony, and in Fiona's hair. When he asks The Giver about what he sees, The Giver explains that Jonas is beginning to see the color red. The Giver tests his theory and asks Jonas to look at the sled from a memory he previously shared with Jonas. Jonas sees that the sled is in fact red. However, instead of changing to red, it is just red. This is because the memory is from a time when color still existed.

The Giver explains to Jonas that color no longer exists because the community embraces the concept of "sameness." He says, "We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others." Without differences such as color, choices are limited. When choices are limited, there is less room for error.

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Why did the community give up the ability to see color in The Giver?

Jonas's community is founded on the principles of Sameness, which champion uniformity, comfort, and obedience. In Jonas's community, sunshine, colors, music, and personal choice do not exist. In the distant past, a decision was made to eliminate all differences and create a completely uniform, regimented society, where everybody conforms in order to have a safe, comfortable community. Sameness was the outcome of this decision and Jonas grows up in a mundane society, where everyone is required to adhere to strict standards and contribute to the community as a whole.

After Jonas is selected to be the community's Receiver of Memory, he begins is his training sessions and experiences life before Sameness, where humans had opportunities, personal freedoms, and enjoyed the spontaneity of life as originally intended.

Since Jonas has the Capacity to See Beyond, he has the unique ability to see in color and asks the Giver why the committee eliminated colors. The Giver responds by telling Jonas that the committee relinquished sunshine and did away with color to prevent differences. The committee's primary goal was to create a comfortable, safe society, which would stand the test of time.

In order to prevent conflict, the committee commissioned scientists to eliminate sunshine and color. Without color, people share a similar perspective and differences no longer exist. Since conflict stems from differences, the committee felt that these restrictions would benefit society as a whole and ensure its stability.

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