The Giver

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The GiverThe Giver is a novel about a futuristic society, where the government controls the minds of the people that are living in the society. The government decides everything for the people of the society. No one makes choices for their self because they were told what everyone can and cannot do. "We've never completely mastered sameness. I suppose the genetic scientists are still hard at work trying to work the kinks out." Fifty new children are allowed in the society each year. If more then fifty babies are born they will release the smaller babies. In a utopian society, such as The Giver, the government controls the people by programming their minds.

The families in The Giver are an example of the controlled society. Each family is limited to one boy and one girl. Marriage is never mentioned; the things adults have in common pair them up by computer.

The adults receive a spouse if they apply for one, and it could be a while til they receive one that matches. All of the families have an evening telling of feelings and telling of dreams. The families did this so there were no secrets. No blood relatives exist. When babies are born, they are given to a family unit. "Jonas watched as one after another each new child was given a name and handed to a family unit."Education in the society is also limited. The society only learns what they want them to know. No one knows anything of the past in the society except the Giver and Jonas. Everyone else only have one-generation memories. They go to school, but most of what they learn isn't true. In the society, precise language was closely monitored. If the children accidentally said something they considered wrong, the children were scolded for it. "Immediately he had been taken for a brief private lesson in language precision. He was not starving, it was pointed out. He was hungry." Asher was told after he had said he was starving.

In the society of The Giver there wasn't really anything to do in their spare time because no one really got spare time except on a rare occasion. Sometimes everyone would have a day off, and the kids would play war games. Sometimes, the kids would go on trips to other communities. Recreation hours and school took up most of the kid's time. Every year the community would have an assembly to give new children to families, and most of the twelve's would receive their jobs. The only way of transportation are riding a bike or walking. You cannot ride a bike until you are a nine, so anyone under that age rode on the back of his or her parents bike. "It was a short ride to the auditorium, Lily waving to her friends from her seat on the back of mother's bicycle." In this community they don't have mountains, hills, animals, or weather changes, due to sameness. Sameness is so no one is made fun of or made to feel different. No one in the community speaks of death, only release. There is release of the old and release of newborns. Release really meant death. "To his surprise, his father began very carefully to direct the needle into the top of the new child's forehead, puncturing the place where the fragile skin pulsed. The newborn squirmed, and wailed faintly." The government controls everything in this society. It seems as though they try to make things better by controlling everyone's lives, but everything turns out worse than it was. If no one has choices they don't have freedom. No one in The Giver has freedom or choice. Even though it seems safer to have life planned and know what is going to happen everyday, it seems like everyone would rather live like they do today.