The Giver Essay
Ever since the inception of Lois Lowry’s award winning children’s book, The Giver, there has been several controversial claims over it being a Dystopian or Utopian novel. In order to formulate a conclusion, the definition of the words “Dystopian” and “Utopian” need to be comprehended. A civilization without war, famine, illness, or hatred or any other society flaws, is considered a Utopia. The members of this social order are harmonious and are in a state of perpetual bliss. They don’t have to clean or clean and live wonderfully pleasant care-free lives. They are ruled by a just and fair government who care about their every need. They are usually futuristic cities that have far more advanced technology than us. An excellent example for a Utopian society is the lost city of Atlantis. Dystopian society, however; are horrible, gut wrenching wastelands ruled by a corrupt and selfish government. A dystopian society usurps basic human rights and is extremely biased. The members of this society are living a horrible nightmare. The streets are full of crime and people commit murders daily. The bloodbath in this society never ends. One example of a dystopian society is the one mentioned in The Giver. It starts out like a utopian society, but the author slowly reveals it as the perfect example of a
Dystopian society. It is hinted that the children in The Giver are not born by their “mothers”, but by Birthmothers, (a job that is looked down upon), who produce three children or a period of three years until they are sent to the House of the Old. It is also apparent that the community members are genetically modified to resemble each other. But there are exception; the protagonist Jonas, the baby Gabriel, The Giver, and a female six. All of whom possess pale eyes. People who have committed three transgressions are forced to undergo a mysterious called “The ceremony of release”. Although the use of release is not always a penalty, it is sometimes used to end the “happy” lives of the elderly, or it is used as a mercy killing for new born babies that have failed to live up to their expectation. They also cruelly whip young children for making minor grammatical mistakes. One strange occurrence in the story is the fact that the author never uses the terms boy, girl, man or woman to describe a male or female.
This strongly suggests that the characters in The Giver are not human, at least not normal humans. Throughout the course of the story, there have been several references to “Elsewhere” and a tale has been mentioned about a man who attempted to escape, but
“drowns”. This may mean that community leaders, The Elders, killed him, or as they call it, released him before he escaped. This along with the practice of release is solid proof that
The Giver is a dystopian novel. Another strange…